Brown Arts


February 9-10, 2024
The East Coast Premiere of William Kentridge's Staged Interpretation of the Novel by Cameroonian Diplomat Ferdinand Oyono.

Directed by William Kentridge
Text by Ferdinand Oyono

The Lindemann Performing Arts Center

February 9, 2024, 7pm
February 10, 2024, 3pm

120 minutes with no intermission
Both performances include post-show talks with the cast and creative team
Recommended for ages 10 and up

*Ticket proceeds from Brown Arts Institute programming support artistic productions created by the various artistic communities on Brown’s campus and in Providence.

“ A collaborator, a believer in the communal power of art and art-making. ”

The New York Times

About the Play

Developed at The Centre for the Less Good Idea in Johannesburg, South Africa, and directed by William Kentridge, Houseboy is based on the 1956 novel by Cameroonian diplomat Ferdinand Oyono. Told through the diary of the protagonist Toundi Ondoua, Houseboy makes use of an ensemble cast to explore themes of narrative history, archival memory, and post-colonial identity through the lens of the colonized. A large backdrop produced by Kentridge — palm trees and dense foliage in black — sets the scene, and each character remains present on stage throughout while myriad live percussive sounds from just off stage, both punctuate and set the pace of the narrative.

Kicking off Kentridge's Artistic Innovators Residency

“ Increasingly, admirably, Kentridge is using his international profile as a platform for collaborations with a host of South African colleagues. ”

The New York Times

Creative Team

TEXT | Ferdinand Oyono

From the work “UNE VIE DE BOY” by Ferdinand OYONO-© Copyright Julliard 1956

DIRECTOR & SET DESIGNER | William Kentridge

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR | Phala Ookeditse Phala


PERFORMERS | Alfred Motlhapi, Nhlanhla Mahlangu, Sello Ramolahloane, Katlego Letsholonyane, William Harding, Neil McCarthy, Sue Pam-Grant, Buhle Mazibuko & Sibahle Mangena

MUSICIANS | Micca Manganye & Volley Nchabeleng 

CHORUS DIRECTOR | Nhlanhla Mahlangu 

ADDITIONAL VOICES | Makudupanyane Senaoana, Anathi Conjwa & Bronwyn Lace

COSTUME DESIGNERS | Greta Goiris, Emmanuelle Erhart & SO Academy Costume Mentees 



STAGE MANAGERS | Dimakatso Motholo & Mego Williams