Stellenbosch University's theatre complex renamed after Afrikaans writer and poet, the late Adam Small as part of putting right the wrongdoings of the past. Picture: Stefan Els/Supplied.
Stellenbosch University's theatre complex renamed after Afrikaans writer and poet, the late Adam Small as part of putting right the wrongdoings of the past. Picture: Stefan Els/Supplied.

Big honour for poet and playwright Adam Small

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 26, 2018

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Cape Town - Stellenbosch University (SU) has honoured celebrated Afrikaans writer and poet, the late Adam Small, by renaming an iconic theatre complex after him.

The university’s renovated and expanded theatre complex was renamed after Small, and forms part of a process of visual redress and renewal of public spaces, symbols, buildings and facilities at the university.

Small received an honorary doctorate from SU in 2015.

The Adam Small Theatre complex is a multifunctional facility that includes the large auditorium in the complex (until now known as the HB Thom Theatre), a seminar room and a smaller laboratory theatre. Although the name HB Thom Theatre will no longer be used, it will be contextualised in the refurbished building. The adjacent Drama Department will now for the first time functionally join the theatre complex.

University rector and vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers said the renaming was about recognition, redress and reconciliation.

“We are naming this theatre complex after Adam Small to recognise him as one of our greatest thinkers and authors, to right some of the wrongs done to him and other victims of apartheid, and to heal the wounds of the past and to bring together again those torn asunder by what Adam Small himself called an ‘evil system'.”

“Adam Small was one of those critical voices - one of the loudest, in fact, an acclaimed poet, playwright and academic who wrote himself into the very being of the South African nation as compass and moral conscience,” De Villiers said.

Small wanted to study at SU, but couldn’t do so because of apartheid.

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