A Letter from "Blood Knot" Playwright, Athol Fugard

Posted June 22, 2018

The following correspondence from Blood Knot playwright Athol Fugard was sent to Jim DeVita in August of 2017 in response to his inquiry about APT’s production of Blood Knot

Dear James,
When I was asked to stage Blood Knot at the Signature Theatre in 2012, I cast, like I have always done, a black actor to play Zach and a white actor to play Morris. That being said, this is not to say that Morris should or could not profitably be played by a mixed race actor as well. But perhaps it will help you to hear me say the following - during apartheid, as you may know, or soon will know, racial classification was extremely arbitrary and often rested on nothing more than the racial prejudices of the classification board and what they regarded as 'other.’ I have always seen Blood Knot as an extended metaphor, which the use of a white actor serves to exaggerate. Positing a white and black body as having come out of the same mother goes some way to express the ambiguities of the time, and moreover, underline that race is but a construct. I wish you only the best and am grateful that you are struggling with these issues. I hope I was able to help.