STRANGE COURTESIES by L. Peter Callender
Citizens of South Africa are confronting a painful past through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has heard thousands of reports about murders, tortures and other human rights abuses of the apartheid era. The TRC is grounded in a constitutional commitment to the African concept of ubuntu, or humanness. Amnesty is available on a conditional basis to alleged perpetrators. STRANGE COURTESIES explores the potential restorative power of truth telling; the significance of sympathetic witnesses; and the tasks of both perpetrators and bystanders in the TRC process. Can dignity be restored to victims and their families while offering a basis for individual healing, and promoting the reconciliation of a divided society?
Peter’s first play, STRANGE COURTESIES was born from the ultimate sacrifices and undying grace of Black South Africans during and after the nightmare of apartheid. It received it’s early readings and workshops at Alter-Lab in San Rafael, California and subsequent readings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Inspired by Shakespeare, Wilson and Fugard, Peter wishes to unveil the mask of history’s harsh reality in his plays through his use of poetry, imagination, theatricality and, always, humor.
READING: American Stage, St Petersburg. FL | 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival | Feb 27, 2020
VIRTUAL STAGED READING: The Stage, San Jose, CA | Streamed Feb 27 - Mar 3, 2021
WORKSHOP: San Jose Stage, CA | July 2022
FULL PRODUCTION: San Jose Stage, CA | Spring 2023 | Director: Greg Homann