The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek

Written by Athol Fugard
Directed by Simon Levy
Produced by Stephen Sachs for the Fountain Theatre
Starring Gilbert Glenn Brown, Thomas Silcott, Philip Solomon, Suanne Spoke




CRITIC’S CHOICE! – Los Angeles Times

BEST THEATER OF 2015 – Los Angeles Times, Charles McNulty



CRITIC’S CHOICE!Los Angeles Times – “HIGHLY AFFECTING!… At 83, South African playwright Athol Fugard remains a vital chronicler of the political, moral and spiritual damage wreaked in his country by apartheid… The Fountain, which has become Fugard’s Los Angeles home, has kept us in touch with a playwriting career that is dynamically interwoven with history… Fugard never lets us forget that history is the handiwork of human beings and that progress is contingent on the courage of individuals to momentarily let go of their grudges and listen to what the other side has to say… Elmarie’s second-act conversation with Jonathan is the heart of the play, a collision of irreconcilable truths that must somehow be reconciled for the sake of a country both claim as their own. Spoke and Brown are note-perfect in their roles. There’s isn’t a trace of sentimentality in Spoke’s Elmarie, whose ferocity has such powerful conviction that it is impossible to dismiss anything she says, no matter how politically indefensible. Brown’s humane Jonathan is a teacher whose soul has been touched by his early bond with an artist, a man whose only possession was the story he tried to etch into the landscape before becoming swallowed by it for eternity. Artists in their late works often turn their lives into allegories. It just so how happens that Fugard’s tale is also South Africa’s.” – Charles McNulty

RAVE!ArtsInLA – “THE PRODUCTION OF THE YEARTHEATRICAL MAGIC… If there was any doubt that Athol Fugard is our planet’s greatest living playwright, the arrival of his newest, most personal, and most arresting play cinches that distinction. Debuting at Fountain Theatre, the place the esteemed South African writer has called his “artistic home on the West Coast” for many years now, this play brings the message of his life’s labors full circle… This is Fugard’s most important and most eloquent play in years… Thanks to this monumentally simple and jarringly evocative production, beautifully interpreted by a STELLAR CAST under the gossamer, sweepingly subtle yet impassioned direction of the wondrous Simon Levy, this is also the production of the year in Los Angeles, not to mention THE BEST ENSEMBLE CAST OF 2015.” – Travis Michael Holder

RAVE!Theatre Notes – “SUPERB… The racial order of apartheid and its effects leap from the stage… Under the impeccable direction of Simon Levy, the performances are stunning.” – Paul Myrvold

RAVE! – – “CHEERS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS STERLING PRODUCTION!flawless and insightful direction of Simon Levy.  Even the spatial relationships between the actors as they deal with each other is a revealing factor in the telling of their stories. But of course Levy is working with ONE OF THE FINEST ENSEMBLES anyone could put together. Thomas Silcott as the artist Mabuza, reveling in his creations and musing about his legacy, Philip Solomon, natural and devoid of childish cutesiness, as Bokkie, Suanne Spoke, the epitome of Afrikaner womanhood, as Mrs. Kleynhans, and Gilbert Glenn Brown as the grown-up Bokkie, are each as good as it gets… IT IS A RICH, IMPECCABLY MOUNTED PRODUCTION.” – Cynthia Citron

RAVE! – “RIVETINGAthol Fugard has had a long and distinguished career as a master storyteller, and once again proved himself an expert in portraying with insight and honesty the dark history of Apartheid in South Africa… Superbly performed by the entire cast… Kudos to the entire production team… A TRUE THEATRICAL GEM.” — Ester Benjamin Shifrin

RAVE! – “The performances… are TREMENDOUSLY ENGAGING as the four-person play has an amazing amount of talent behind it. This story is potent not just for its shrewd politics, but for its subtly poignant reflection on mortality. I recommend this play because there is always something relatable about a tale that links together the politics of a time period and the necessity of the human heart. As Nukain’s flowers fade from nature’s continuous attack, it becomes alarmingly clear that none of this will last forever. What takes its place very much depends on the patience and compassion of the present generation.” – Erin Fair

RECOMMENDED!Stage Raw – “TOP TEN!… deals gracefully with complex and timeless themes… also beautifully comments on an artist’s need to create and the human need to leave a legacy… Director Simon Levy aims for realism. What emerges are LOVELY PERFORMANCES and an admirable and accessible simplicity.” – Vanessa Cate

RAVE! – The Tidings – “SENSITIVE AND POWERFUL!… Simon Levy’s excellent direction is unobtrusive and allows the action to flow naturally… The entire production team is to be commended… SUPERB CAST!” – Sean M. Wright

RAVE!EdgeMediaNetwork – “OUTSTANDING… Athol Fugard is South Africa’s greatest theatrical export… And his last play to date, in its West Coast premiere, illustrates why this 83-year-old genius writer deserves all the attention we can offer him… Director Simon Levy’s strong hand is very much in evidence on Jeffrey McLaughlin’s bold cyclorama set of dry sand and painted rocks against a blue-sky background. The four-character casting is exemplary, with twelve-year-old Solomon a standout with his intelligence and his energy. Silcott’s old man is hardy and Brown’s energy matches young Solomon’s. And Spoke an amazing discovery… the acting overall was outstanding, proving once again that the Fountain Theatre (Stephen Sachs and Deborah Lawlor, co-Artistic Directors) is ONE OF THE FINEST UNDER-99-SEAT THEATRES IN TOWN.” – Dale Reynolds

RAVE!StageSceneLA – “WOW!DEEPLY MOVING… It informed, inspired, and most importantly touched me in a way I did not see coming… GORGEOUSLY ACTED… all-around superb performance [under] Simon Levy’s richly nuanced direction… Silcott’s exquisite work as Tata (inspired by real-life South African “stone garden” artist Nukain Mabuza) is so real, it transcends the realm of acting, and his performance is complemented by the thoroughly winning Solomon, whose South African accent sounds so authentic that it comes as a bit of a shock to realize that he is the same Santa Ana seventh-grader who sang and danced along to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” in last year’s Pasadena Playhouse Panto. As for the adult Bokkie (proudly reclaiming his identity as Jonathan Sejake), Fountain Theatre favorite Brown tops even his work in The Brothers Size, giving us a man who has overcome poverty though education and determination and who is not about to see his beloved Tata’s lifework erased by wind and rain and neglect… Arguably most memorable of all is the sensational Spoke, giving in effect two performances since whatever softer edges may have tempered the Afrikaner farmer’s wife in Act One have vanished once Elmarie returns for the second act rock-hard and merciless in face of an unarmed intruder whose only real sin may be the color of his skin… THE FOUNTAIN THEATRE AT ITS WORLD-CLASS BEST.” – Steven Stanley

RAVE! – “EYE-OPENING AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING… a work of momentous personal artistry, ambition and scope. It grabs you and refuses to let go… not to be missed… succeeds because of its message of hope, healing and faith… Fugard takes us, the audience, on a journey of epic heartache and resolute resilience… A WONDERFULLY TALENTED CAST… With this production, the Fountain, now celebrating its 25th anniversary season, proves once more that it is one of the best theatres of any size in the city, if not region or country… [The Fountain] is AN INDISPENSABLE GEM which cannot be lost to the vagaries of the day… As Fugard’s “artistic home on the West Coast,” the Fountain remains a breeding ground and showcase for not only his plays, but many of the most acclaimed and renowned theatre works of our time.” – Radomir Vojtech Luza

RAVE!Cultural Weekly – “ATHOL FUGARD IS AN INSTITUTION, literary, theatrical, spiritual and political… The play is raised up by the rigorous eloquence and compassion of Fugard’s writing and the uncompromising clarity of his vision… But a great deal of credit must be shared by the actors, especially Silcott and Brown, with a special mention for Spoke, who portrays the unavoidably mixed emotions of an aging woman who feels displaced and disrespected in “her” country by the emancipation of the black population — and only distantly connected to the long history that preceded it. As obvious as it may be to others, she does not understand it or her role in it, however accidental. It makes her a woman more to be pitied than blamed. And it exposes all the flaws built into untangling such racially difficult societal knots… They do it with talent and, in the end, respect, under the artful direction of Simon Levy.” – Sylvie Drake

RAVE! – “LOVELY WORKSimon Levy’s quietly lovely production builds on the company’s solid tradition with this very important playwright… Young or old, male or female, white or black, a character of Fugard’s creation will have passion, depth and contradictions. The playwright does not write straw men or villains. He is eternally writing from a place of love and hope, and his characters are in the surest of hands at the Fountain Theatre which has produced seven of his plays since 2000, several of them American premieres.” – Evan Henderson

Internationally-acclaimed playwright Athol Fugard returns to the Fountain Theatre with this beautiful heartfelt new drama inspired by the life of South African artist Nukain Mabuza. Aging farm laborer Nukain has spent his life transforming the rocks at Revolver Creek into a vibrant garden of painted flowers. Now, the final unpainted rock, as well as his young companion Bokkie, has forced Nukain to confront his legacy as a painter, a person and a black man in 1980s South Africa. When the landowner’s wife arrives with demands about the painting, the profound rifts of a country hurtling toward the end of apartheid are laid bare, and a painter’s greatest statement against injustice is the art that he creates.

Gilbert Glenn Brown
Thomas Silcott
Philip Solomon
Suanne Spoke

creative team:
Set – Jeff McLaughlin
Lights – Jennifer Edwards
Sound/Music – Peter Bayne
Costume – Naila Aladdin-Sanders
Props – Dillon Nelson
Dialect Coach – Nike Doukas
Production Stage Manager – Rita Cofield
Assistant Stage Manager – Terri Roberts

Directed by Simon Levy

Produced by Stephen Sachs and Deborah Lawlor

MUST CLOSE Dec 14, 2015

(There will be NO extension for this show.)

Performance Schedule:
Fridays, 8pm
Saturdays, 8pm
Sundays, 3pm & 7pm
Mondays, 8pm (Pay-What-You-Can)


Jewish Journal Article on director Simon Levy