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Word Count: 1,200
In Athol Fugards The Statements each play not only depicts the hardships of apartheid and the consequences thereafter but contemplates the philosophical question What is a man Fugard uses the tragic personal experiences of himself as well as his fellow actor partners John Kani and Winston Ntshona Together the two actors along with Fugard portray what life was like under South Africas apartheid laws In The Island with the help with Kani and Ntshona Fugard elicits the bond of brotherhood even within the dehumanizing prison cell walls on Robben Island However it is not only through the dialogue that we learn of the islands harsh environment but also through the plays set design Elements such as lighting sound costume and stage direction all enhance the overall production of the play Moreover the beginning of scene one contains an abundance of these elements As the siren sounds signaling the start of yet another harsh hardworking day the two prisoners John and Winston arise The stage lights are on to reveal a moat of harsh white light around their cell A moat usually is classified as a body of water surrounding a castle although in this case it represents Robben Island The light so radiant which depicts a moat consequently portrays the blinding atmosphere at hand John and Winston with their shaven heads are wearing prison uniforms consisting of a khaki shirt and a pair of short trousers as they mime digging the sand As compared to the old black and white stripped prison uniforms they look a bit foolish especially when trying to illustrate the endless digging at the sand They both continue to engage in the back-breaking labour of digging at the sand but for no apparent reason only to add the sand from ones wheel- barrow to the pile where the other is digging As a result nothing is ever accomplished except for the movement of the same sand back and
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