theatre in America:
1960s and 1970s
Mokae moved to America and continued his
theatre success, both with revivals of Blood Knot (as the
play was retitled from The Blood Knot, after
a rewrite by Fugard to bring it to a manageable length) and modern
Wole Soyinka The Trials of Brother Jero 1966
Mokae played Jeroboam in a production by Athol Fugard at The
Round House in South Africa and Inglewood Playhouse in
California. The Times (17 June 1966) says
"... a satirical comedy, featuring a cunning prophet
(played by Zaikes Mokae) whose brand of Christianity
works to his own advantage". Note the
misspelling of Zakes.
Athol Fugard Blood Knot 1971
Another revival of Blood Knot. Photo of Mokae in Blood Knot from Theatre Winter 1982.
Athol Fugard Boesman and Lena 1970 and 1971
Mary Benson in Bare Stage quotes
Fugard "I've dredged up a trio of real derelicts
this time. I'm called Boesman, the woman is Lena and the
third character is something of an indeterminate
verminous and dying age called Outa". Benson says
she realised the play, from 1969, had its roots in
Fugard´s relationship with his wife Sheila. Mokae
was not in the South African premiere, but in the NY
version in 1970 directed by John Berry with the minor
role of Outa, playing alongside James Earl Jones.
When the play transferred to the Royal Court in London on
19 Aug 1971 Mokae took over the lead role of Boesman.
Eugene O'Neill The Emperor Jones 1971
Earl Jones has the lead role of an emperor of the
Caribbean and his downfall. Mokae plays Lem. The
play is almost a monologue for James Earl Jones, who is
excellent in the role, resonating like Orson Welles.
Mokae´s role is in Act VIII with slight dialogue.
Stefan Gierasch and Osceola Archer also appear.
Directed by Theodore Mann.
James Earl Jones
Ronald Ribman Fingernails Blue as Flowers 1971-72
Mokae as the waiter alongside Albert Paulsen, Pamela Shaw, Larry Block
and Karli Dwyer. Martin Fried directed at The
American Place. The play is by Ronald Ribman.
Lorraine Hansberry A Raisin in the Sun 1972
Hansberry´s play of a black American family who receive $10,000, but
each member has other ideas on what to do with the
money. Mokae plays Joseph Asagai, the African who
questions why the black women straighten their hair and
reject their heritage. There is an audio cassette
available of the performance. Mokae´s voice is of
Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard 1973
Produced as part of the NY Shakespeare Festival at
Public Theatre. Mokae plays the old servant Firs.
Ronald Tavel The Last Days of British Honduras 1974
Produced as part of the NY Shakespeare Festival at The American
Evan Blake Mid-Century Blues 1977
A one-act play that take audience members back to a time
when the Blues and Big Band comforted a nation at
war. Zakes Mokae directed, at the Winchester Centre.