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Austin Shakespeare Stages Reading of South African Play ‘Master Harold’ … and the Boys

The thought-provoking work by Athol Fugard will be performed in East Austin the weekend of Jan. 13

Austin Shakespeare will kick off its programming for the new year with a staged reading of the esteemed South African play “Master Harold”… and the Boys.

From Jan. 13 through 15, three actors will share the engrossing story written by Athol Fugard at KMFA’s Draylen Mason Music Studio in East Austin.

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From Top: Actors Corey Allen, Marc Pouhé and Justin Duggan.

Set in apartheid-era South Africa, the theatrical piece offers insights into the relationship between a young white teenager and the two older Black servers who work in the teenager’s mother’s cafe and have helped raise him. A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story, Fugard explores the challenges of being a young person, as well as the effects of growing up surrounded by racial bigotry.

“Fugard is one of our greatest living playwrights, and this script is funny and touching, as well as powerfully dramatic,” says director Ann Ciccolella.

The reading will be performed by Austin Shakespeare newcomer Justin Duggan, alongside Marc Pouhé and Corey Allen, both members of the Actors’ Equity Association. Pouhé has previously played leading roles at Austin Shakespeare and has won multiple Austin Critics’ Table Awards. Allen is currently an assistant professor of acting at the University of Texas at Austin.

The show’s intimate format allows audiences to experience the actors’ vivid and powerful performances without distraction.

“The audience does use their imagination to imagine things like scenery, but it rests on the dialogue,” says Ciccolella. “You’re really experiencing the acting in its pure form. Audiences say that after the first few moments, they forget that the scripts are there.”

The production will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14 and Saturday, Jan. 14 and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15

General admission tickets on sale for $25 here. Student tickets are available for $14 each night, in-person only. A current student ID must be presented to secure a student ticket. Free covered parking is available at KMFA.

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