The Shadow of the Hummingbird

by  Athol Fugard

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  1m, 1boy(s)

Legendary playwright Athol Fugard returns to the stage for the first time in fifteen years in his newest play. 

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The Shadow of the Hummingbird

by  Athol Fugard

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 1boy(s)
  • Duration


    60 minutes (1 hour)
  • SubGenre


    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

When Oupa is visited by his ten-year-old grandson (who is playing hooky from school) the two spend a memorable afternoon together.  The boy reminds the old man of his lost sense of wonder, while the child is given a bit of hard-earned wisdom.  In a charming meditation on the beauty and transience of the world around us, Fugard continues to mine the depths of the human spirit with profound empathy and heart.
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"To lose yourself in the imagined universe of a play is perhaps one way of retaining a sliver of the innocence Mr. Fugard’s Oupa so cherishes." - The New York Times, Read More 

"Fugard's metaphors...are unforgettable." - BroadwayWorld, Read More 

"[The Shadow of the Hummingbird] wants to pass on the experience and wisdom of an elderly man. It wants to show how important it is to respect and retain the wonderment and curiosity and openness of childhood. And it wants to entertain. . . admirable goals which, in the hands of a master, Athol Fugard . . . are easily met." - New Haven Independant, Reaed More 

"The Shadow of the Hummingbird soars." - New Haven Register, Read More 


Performing Groups

  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.



  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Duration: 60 minutes (1 hour)
  • Setting: Oupa's study in Southern California
  • Additional Features: No intermission


1m, 1boy(s)
Oupa - A retired schoolteacher. An ailing old man in his eighties.
Boba - His grandson. Twelve or thirteen years old.

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Cast Attributes

  • Roles for Children
  • Parts for Senior Actors


Available Services



Athol Fugard

Athol Fugard is an internationally acclaimed South African playwright whose best-known work deals with the political and social upheaval of the apartheid system in South Africa. He was educated at the University of Cape Town. His plays include The Captain's Tiger, Valley Song, My Children! My Africa, A Lesson from Aloe ...

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The Shadow of the Hummingbird premiered at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT in March of 2014 under the direction of Gordon Edelstein.

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