Mike van Graan is an award-winning playwright with 37 plays under his belt. His most recent work - MY FELLOW SOUTH AFRICANS - won the performer, Kim Blanche Adonis, the Toyota US Woordfees Best Solo Award (October 2023) and the Best Solo Performance award at the inaugural Independent Theatre Awards (February 2024) where it also won the Best New Script award. In addition to writing plays, Mike has extensive experience in cultural policy, building artists' networks both locally and across the African continent, and in advocacy. He has served as the Secretary General of Arterial Network, as the Director of the African Arts Institute and the Coordinator of the Sustaining Theatre and Dance (STAND) Foundation. In May 2024, he completed a 3-month writer's residency at the University of the Free State where he wrote a play, THE GOOD WHITE, set against the backdrop of the Rhodes/Fees Must Fall campaigns. He currently spends his time trying to build a sustainable theatre practice as a writer/producer.

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About Me

Mike van Graan is an award-winning playwright with 37 plays under his belt. His most recent work - MY FELLOW SOUTH AFRICANS - won the performer, Kim Blanche Adonis, the Toyota US Woordfees Best Solo Award (October 2023) and the Best Solo Performance award at the inaugural Independent Theatre Awards (February 2024) where it also won the Best New Script award. In addition to writing plays, Mike has extensive experience in cultural policy, building artists' networks both locally and across the African continent, and in advocacy. He has served as the Secretary General of Arterial Network, as the Director of the African Arts Institute and the Coordinator of the Sustaining Theatre and Dance (STAND) Foundation. In May 2024, he completed a 3-month writer's residency at the University of the Free State where he wrote a play, THE GOOD WHITE, set against the backdrop of the Rhodes/Fees Must Fall campaigns. He currently spends his time trying to build a sustainable theatre practice as a writer/producer.

My plays My bio Reviews

Featured Plays

News & Articles

Staged reading of The Good White

Election Day things

Jun 12, 2024

Project 021 hosts MFSA

Freedom Day in Brackenfell

Jun 12, 2024

Is the National Arts Festival coming to an end?

City Press Interview

Jun 02, 2024

Reviews

“Mike van Graan has deservedly gained a reputation as our leading contemporary political playwright – or if that seems too bald and simplistic a statement, as a playwright who is not afraid to tackle head-on the issues that confront us in the “new” South Africa.”

— - Rob Gaylard
South African Theatre Journal, January 2012

“Van Graan is a patriotic and committed democrat who has through his playwriting extended his cultural and civil society activism into any number of societal problems challenging the country, its people and its fledgling democracy.”

— - Brent Meersman
The Methuen Guide of Contemporary South African Theatre, 2015

“In taking the decision to present Mike van Graan with the award the Board stressed both his impressive literary work, his important role in shaping and monitoring post-apartheid cultural policies and his policy, advocacy and capacity-building work in the field of culture and its contribution to development, human rights and peace in Africa.”

— - The Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation
for Peace and Culture on presenting the 2018 Hiroshima Prize to Mike

“It takes a certain degree of fearlessness to be an excellent playwright….Right now, South Africa’s most controversial topic is land expropriation and Mike van Graan wades right into these murky waters with his latest satire, Land Acts. I love the way Van Graan’s extraordinarily sharp brain links several subjects together and knocks you for a six with the punchlines.”

— - Lesley Stones
Daily Maverick, May 2018

“Van Graan is one of South Africa’s most prominent, provocative and celebrated playwrights and the recipient of numerous national and international awards and accolades which bear testimony not only to theatre but to his broader contribution to the cultural landscape as well.”

— - University of Pretoria News
on Mike receiving an honorary Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the Faculty of Humanities in April 2018