“A comma is not a pause. It’s a short breath that should preface your next thought.” These words of advice given to her by Lara Foot’s mentor, Sir Peter Hall, continue to inspire her work as theatre director. The two worked together on Tsephang, a play written by the young South African playwright and performed in London in September 2004.
Tsephang is a poignant piece about a mother struck dumb with grief following the tragic loss of her nine-month-old daughter, a victim of child rape. Based on the same real-life story, Foot’s short film And There in the Dust won six international awards, including Best African Short at the 2006 Festival of African, Asian and Latin American Film, held in Milan in March 2007.
Following her impressive film début, the young director decided to shoot a feature film about child abuse in South Africa. After attending a screenwriting lab at the Sundance Institute in January 2007 to finalize her script, Foot is now seeking funds to develop an animated film including live action.
Despite pursuing new passions, Foot has not abandoned her first love. In 2007, after Hear and Now, which she wrote, Amadeus and Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, she directed Victory, a new play by South African master playwright Athol Fugard.
At the same time, she has launched a mentoring programme in the dramatic arts, of which she is the director, at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre. This is her way of passing the torch.