Master Harold and the Boys

Samantha Van Der Merwe speaks the names from Athol Fugard’s play, Master Harold and the Boys. This recording, copyright Samantha Van Der Merwe, is on permanent loan to the International Dialects of English Archive.



Tchabalala from King Williamstown

Mulligan Njikelane

Nomhle Nkonjeni from Grahamstown

Mister Fats Bokolane

Miss Dina Plaatjies

Mister Sipho Dugu

Mrs. Mable Magada from Peddie

Miss Hilda Samuels



Samantha Van Der Merwe was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and speaks English and Afrikaans, the latter learned in primary school. She speaks it less often today, living in the United States, but still can use the language when she’s home.

Van Der Merwe is the founder, artistic director and teacher at Shaking the Tree Theatre, where she directs theatrical productions and teaches drama classes for children ages 5 and up. She is a Licentiate of Trinity College, London, and holds an (LTCL) teaching diploma in Speech and Drama.

She founded Shaking the Tree in 2003, and after involvement for a few years with the thriving art and drama studio, she began directing. Some of her favorite projects are: Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act (Athol Fugard), February 2009; East of the Sun and West of the Moon (Nancy Willard), April 2010; The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery), October 2010; The Tripping Point: a theatrical exhibition of eight fairy-tale installations (Playwrights West), February 2011; Far Away (Carol Churchill), September 2012; Wilde Tales (Oscar Wilde/adapted by Karin Magaldi), October 2013; One Flea Spare (Naomi Wallace), February 2014; Pool (No Water) by Mark Ravenhill for Theatre Vertigo, April 2014; Masque of the Red Death (Edgar Allan Poe, featuring Playwrights West), October 2014; Suddenly Last Summer (Tennessee Williams), April 2015; Passion Play (Sarah Ruhl), September 2015; and The Dissenter’s Handbook (Dario Fo). She is currently directing A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen).

In 2009, she was awarded a Drammy for Direction for her production of Statements After an Arrest, and in 2012 she was awarded a Drammy for producing The Tripping Point.

More about Samantha’s company may be found here:

Samantha’s profile may be found at

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