The Strokes of a Man

How does one sum up their life? For Nukain, the aging farm laborer in Athol Fugard’s new play, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek, the only way he knows how is to express it through paint.

Athol Fugard not only writes this beautiful piece but directs as well and the results are stunning. Played by a beautiful cast of four on a compelling set, the story begins out in the Mpumalanga Province in 1981 South Africa during the throes of apartheid and finishes in 2003 in the second act.

The piece is extremely moving with moments of great, transfixing beauty juxtaposed against the harsh reality of the rift between the races involved during the time period. In its intimacy it hits a symbolic chord of magnitude that illuminates the complex and seemingly impossible-to-resolve conflict that is the history of South Africa.

A meeting of the minds is not always on the same track but through diligent attempts to understand and compassion for each other the characters resolve themselves with a glimmer of hope and a restoration of the understanding and acknowledgement of human dignity.

Once again, art and its expression proves a bridge between what was wrong and how it can be righted.

The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek runs though June 14 at Signature Theatre.