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Exploring South African Apartheid through Theater

from BAM Education

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As part of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela makes a number of visits to a maximum security prison to speak with Eugene de Kock, a white police officer who worked for the Apartheid government and whose crimes were so notorious that he had been nicknamed 'Prime Evil." The play, "A Human Being Died That Night" recounts Pumla's visits with de Kock and her struggle to understand him and why he acted so inhumanely. BAM Education's Virtual Workshop prepares students for the experience of watching this complex human drama through theater activities, monologues, and historical contextualization.

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About This Program


Point to Point: $0.00
Point to Point Premium: $0.00


A limited number of free workshops/screenings available to CILC members thanks to a generous funder.


55-minute Pre-Screening Virtual Workshop & a 90-minute screening of the play

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 9, 10, 11, 12

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

International, Social Studies/History, Language Arts/English, Performing Arts, Character Education, Literacy, Leadership

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, etc...)
Google Hang Out

See on-line study guide which includes video interviews with one of the subjects of the play:

Booking Information

Pre-screening workshop needs to be scheduled but screening of recorded production can occur anytime within a week following the pre-screening workshop.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs cancelled due to school closures due to weather i.e. snow days. The full fee will be charged to sites which cancel with less than 72 hours notice.

About This Provider

Content Provider logo


BAM Education

Brooklyn, NY
United States

BAM Education connects learning with creativity, engaging
imagination by encouraging self-expression through in- and after-school
programs for students and teachers and offerings for audiences of all ages.

Education Department

Program Details


1.. The workshop begins with a warm up in which students explore the issue of forgiveness in their own lives
2.. The teaching artist will then give students historical context regarding South African Apartheid
3, Their will be a brief discussion around the theatrical device of the monologue
4. Students will then analyze a monologue from the play performed by the BAM teaching artist
5. In pairs, students will create their own monologues based on issues related to forgiveness and redemp[tion
6.. Teaching artist will review essential vocabulary and suggest viewing question for when they watch the play


Participants will:
- explore issues related to forgiveness
- develop an understanding of Apartheid-era South Africa
- compare character motives
- discuss under what circumstances people will act inhumanely
- create their own monologues
- work collaboratively in their classroom
- be prepared to watch the play "A Human Being Died That Night" critically and recognize the complexity of the drama and its characters

Standards Alignment

National Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.11-12.RI.1 -- Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.11-12.W.3d -- Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.SL.1 -- Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.SL.1c -- Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.WHST.2d -- Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.

State Standards

New York Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts
Bench Mark 12:
Connecting Theater to Personal Experience, Community and Society
through an Exploration of Themes, Culture and History
Students demonstrate a capacity for deep personal connection
to theater and a realization of the meaning and
messages in theater.