Born in Cape Town and educated at Port Elizabeth Technical College and Cape Town University, Athol Fugard is the leading white South African playwright. After finishing his education, Fugard worked as a seaman and journalist before becoming an actor, director, and playwright. His commitment to the antiapartheid struggle through his plays and other dramatic productions is as long as it is effective in portraying the traumas of racial tensions in the lives of both white and black South Africans. The setting of his plays is contemporary South Africa, but the bleakness and frustrations of life they present, especially for those on the fringes of society, raise the plays to the level of universal human tragedy. Because of their subject, his plays have sometimes met with official opposition. Blood Knot (1960), about two coloured brothers, one light-skinned and one dark-skinned, was censored, and some of his other works have only been published abroad. Fugard has frequently collaborated in his productions with black playwrights and actors, like John Kani and Winston Ntsona, with whom he produced the highly acclaimed and frequently produced plays, Siswe Bansi Is Dead (1973) and Statements (1972). His work is quite popular in England, and later plays, Master Harold and the Boys (1982), The Road to Mecca (1984), and A Place With the Pigs (1987), have been staged at the National Theatre. Fugard has also written screenplays and a novel, Tsotsi (1980).