Press Release: Master Harold ... and the boys




Written by Athol Fugard
Directed by David Rose

Limited Engagement opens Saturday, October 20 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank!

"An exhilarating play...a triumph of playmaking, and unforgettable!" -NY Post

September 26, 2007...Burbank...Following the triumph of its most recent critically-acclaimed, sold-out production of Joanna McClelland Glass' TRYING, the Colony Theatre Company presents the third production of its 2007 - 2008 season, "MASTER HAROLD"... AND THE BOYS, written by Athol Fugard, directed by David Rose and featuring Michael Tauzin, Michael A. Shepperd and Thomas Silcott. "MASTER HAROLD" AND THE BOYS will preview on Wednesday, October 17; Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19 at 8:00pm and will open on Saturday, October 20 at 8:00pm and continue through Sunday, November 18 at the Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center.
An ordinary rainy afternoon in 1950s South Africa turns into a profound and life-changing experience for young, white Harold and his beloved black servants. A stunning masterpiece, one of the most powerful coming-of-age plays ever written, and still timely, still compelling, still unbearably moving.               


Of all Athol Fugard's plays, none is more personal than "Master Harold" . . . and the Boys; because it relates a boyhood incident which involved himself and which haunted him for years until he tried to atone by writing this play. First produced at the Yale Repertory Theater in 1982, "Master Harold". . . and the Boys is based on the playwright's early life in South Africa. But the play itself is not a simple retelling of an incident from his past. Rather, Fugard has presented a personal experience that extends to universal humanity. If the play were simply a polemic against the policy of apartheid, it would already be outdated now that sweeping change has transformed South Africa. Instead, Fugard wrote a play about human relationships that are put to the test by societal and personal forces. Because Fugard (critically) focused most of his work on the injustices of the apartheid system of South Africa's government, government officials called many of Fugard's works subversive and several times attempted to prevent publication and/or production of his plays. Much of his early work was presented to small private audiences to avoid government censorship. "Master Harold" .. and the Boys, however, played 344 performances on Broadway and was produced in other major cities including London. The play was officially banned by the South African government. Despite the efforts of his native country, the wider world community did not Ignore Fugard's work and "Master Harold" .. and the Boys earned the Drama Desk A ward and Critics Circle Award for best play in 1983, and London's Evening Standard Award in 1984. The play has subsequently earned a place in contemporary world drama, enjoying frequent revivals around the world. It is considered to be one of Fugard's masterpieces and a vital work valued for both its universal themes of humanity and its skilled theater craft.


ATHOL FUGARD (Playwright) South African playwright, actor, and director is known for his subtle, poignant descriptions of the racial problems in his country. In 1965 he became director of the Serpent Players in Port Elizabeth; in 1972 he was a founder of Cape Town's Space Experimental Theatre. One of the first white playwrights to collaborate with black actors and workers, Fugard writes of the frustrations of life in contemporary South Africa and of overcoming the psychological barriers created by apartheid. His messages were discreet enough that his plays could be performed in South Africa, yet strong enough to have an important impact on the audience. While his plays were not explicitly anti-apartheid, the sorrows that arise in them do so as a result of apartheid.

He said of his writing, "The sense I have of myself is that of a 'regional' writer with the themes, textures, acts of celebrations, of defiance and outrage that go with the South African experience. These are the only things I have been able to write about." Some of his works, such as Blood Knot (1960), the first in his family trilogy, were initially banned in South Africa. Widely acclaimed, his plays include Boesman and Lena (1969), Sizwe Bansi Is Dead (1972), A Lesson from Aloes (1978), the semiautobiographical work Master Harold...and the Boys (1982), The Road to Mecca (1985), and Playland (1993). In his first two post-apartheid plays, Valley Song (1995) and The Captain's Tiger (1998), Fugard addresses rather personal concerns, but in Sorrows and Rejoicings (2001) he focuses on the complex racial dynamics of South Africa's new era. Fugard has also written one novel, Tsotsi (1980).

Director DAVID ROSE has 22 productions to his credit since he became a company member in1990. He staged recent Colony productions of I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Written by A Young Lady From Rwanda, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Sherlock's Last Case, The Drawer Boy, Fuddy Meers, The Nerd (with French Stewart), The Man Who Came to Dinner, and the World Premiere of Bea[u]tiful in the Extreme. He also directed Our Country's Good (six L.A. Ovation award nominations, Drama-Logue award), the L.A. Premiere of The Living, The Front Page (L.A. Weekly award - Revival Production of the Year), You Can't Take it With You (Drama-Logue award), June Moon, and the West Coast Premiere of Peccadillo. As an actor, he has appeared at the Colony in Morning's at Seven, The Clearing, Incident at Vichy, Einstein and the Polar Bear, Pastoral, and Bedroom Farce (Drama-Logue award.) Elsewhere in Los Angeles, he has directed productions of Geniuses (Drama-Logue award), Justin Tanner's Big Bear, and the smash hit Road to Nirvana (Drama-Logue award) - all at Third Stage, as well as The Dining Room at Theatre 40, Inspecting Carol at the Ivy Substation (Drama-Logue award) and Chased From Paradise and The Blues are Running at the Lost Studio. He is the former Artistic Director of The New York Comedy Repertory Ensemble and a founding member of Washington D.C's acclaimed Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.


MASTER HAROLD...AND THE BOYS features Michael A. Shepperd (Smokey Joe's Cafe, The Bacchae) as Sam, Thomas Silcott (Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk) as Willie and Michael Tauzin (The Bacchae, Beautiful Thing) as Hally.

MASTER HAROLD...AND THE BOYS has assembled an award-winning design team. The set design is by Victoria Profitt (Trying, I Capture the Castle). The costume design is by A. Jeffrey Schoenberg (Trying, The Devils) The lighting design is by Don Guy (The Grand Tour). The sound design is by Cricket S. Myers (Trying, The Marvelous Wonderettes).    

"MASTER HAROLD"...AND THE BOYS will open on Saturday, October 20 and perform through Sunday, November 18, 2007. Performances for "MASTER HAROLD"... AND THE BOYS, will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. There will be additional performances on Saturday, October 27 and November 3 at 3pm and Thursday, November 8 and November 15 at 8pm.  Ticket prices range from $37.00 - $42.00 (student, senior and group discounts are available). Preview performances will be Wednesday, October 17 at 8pm; Thursday, October 18 at 8pm and Friday, October 19 at 8:00pm. Preview Tickets are $20.00 - $25.00. Opening night performance with reception - all tickets $50.00. For tickets, call the Colony Theatre Box Office at 818/558-7000 ext. 15.  

For more information, press interviews, photos or for press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at or visit

The award-winning Colony Theatre Company is Burbank's premiere professional theatre. It was voted "Best Live Theatre in L.A." in The Daily News 2006 Readers' Choice poll, and was named one of "25 Notable U.S. Theatre Companies" by Encyclopedia Britannica's 2006 Almanac.