Stephanie Faure was born on 9 September 1894 in Pretoria. She was the daughter of Jacobus C. Faure who was a civil servant of the Transvaal Republic, and his wife Talitha Cumi Lombard. Faure received her early education at Eendracht School and the Pretoria High School for Girls.
Faure had a post in a firm of attorneys and was at the same time trained in English elocution by the famous theatrical figure Muriel Alexander, in Johannesburg. From December 1921 to August 1923, Faure was in Antwerp where she studied under renowned Flemish elocutionist Prof. Modestus Lauwerijs at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Music. On completion of her studies, she passed her examination with distinction and returned to Pretoria. Later, she obtained the Licentiate Diploma for elocution at the Trinity College of Music.
Faure was one of the pioneers in the field of elocution and dramatic art in South Africa in the early twenties. She appeared in concerts and opened her own studio, tutoring; speech, recitation and drama. In 1925 she became more renowned when she began to work with the then rising star, Dutch actor, Paul de Groot. She taught him Afrikaans and they co-produced two plays. The highlight of her career came with her appearance in “Die heks” a play by Louis Liepoldt. Reviews complimented her “beautiful, clear voice”.
From 1925 to 1960, Faure was a lecturer in elocution at the Transvaal University College, and still continued with theatrical work. She successfully trained many aspiring teachers and ministers of religion in elocution. With help from her students, she gave many performances, among them “Gelukshoekie,” based on a work by H. Sudermann.
Faure also made a huge contribution to the development of radio in South Africa, especially in the area of radio plays. She was the driving force behind the first Afrikaans sound-film in 1931, Moedertjie (In die wagkamer by J.F.W. Grosskopf).
As the producer of Moedertjie Faure, and her fellow actors, received medals of honour from the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns.
Her recitation of “Die stem van Suid Afrika” by C.J. Langenhoven made a great contribution to its acceptance as the national anthem of South Africa. Between October 1934 and March 1935, she went to England and Holland. In Holland she won recognition for a series of recital evenings. During this period she also studied speech therapy in Amsterdam under the guidance of Prof H.Burger.
When she returned to South Africa in 1935, she applied herself to children’s drama along with her sister Talitha C.Faure who was principal of Pretoria East Primary School. The pair performed in Pretoria and Faure became one of the period’s most popular writers of children’s plays. Among her works on children’s plays are Die nuwe meisie (1933) and Toneel vir tienerswhich appeared posthumously in 1971. During her career, she also wrote two professional works, one in 1934 and the other in 1943.
Besides being a pioneer in the field of Afrikaans drama, Faure also made an important contribution to the training of elocution. She never married and passed away on the 25 December 1961.
Potgieter, D.J.et al. (eds). (1971). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, NASOU: Cape Town.v. 4, p. 437. |Beyers, C.J. et al.(eds).(1977).Dictionary of South African Biography, Butterworth:Durban.v3,p.287.|Portrait (Picture) Potgieter, D.J.et al. (eds). (1971). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, NASOU: Cape Town.v. 4, p. 437.