(Lloyd Richards’s article appeared in issue No 111; Hilton Als references and quotes from it in ‘Athol Fugard’s South Africa’ in the 2/27/2012 New Yorker.)
Athol Fugard was born in the small village of Middleburg in South Africa’s semi-desert region of Karroo in 1932. His mother was an Afrikaner and his father an English-speaking South African. When Fugard was three years old the family moved to Port Elizabeth, the setting of most of his plays and his primary home ever since.
Fugard spent three years studying philosophy and social anthropology at the University of Cape Town. He dropped out before getting his degree, hitchhiked through Africa for six months and spent two years as a seaman in the Far East. Although he says he always knew he would be a writer, it was not until his return from the Far East, when he met the actress Sheila Meiring, that he became involved in the theater.