What: Pieces of Me
Writer/performer: Bo Petersen
When: July 10-27, 2024
Where: Baxter Studio

Director: Royston Stoffels
Musician: Chris Petersen  
Bookings: Webtickets. And at Pick n’ Pay
Tickets: R165- R220
Age advisory: No under 10s  

Mini review of Bo Petersen’s Pieces of Me from FynArts 2024:

I saw Pieces of Me at FynArts 2024 in Hermanus, performed by Bo Petersen (the writer of the play) and accompanied by Chris Petersen on piano. Lighting and sound was limited as it was in the Hermanus Municipal Auditorium so I refrained from writing a full review. I look forward to seeing Pieces of Me at the Baxter (July 10-27, 2024). Ahead of my review at the Baxter, I note here some of my impressions of this remarkable piece of autobiographical theatre.

When Bo Petersen was 19, she became aware that her father had passed for white in Apartheid South Africa. The process of exhuming his secret was not simple as she unravelled pieces of her family history. Part of the process was meeting members of her family and learning about other family members vicariously – through the stories of others. Her adored father hid in plain sight in Apartheid South Africa and in so doing he presented a very different person to those that knew him growing up. The father that Petersen knew as reserved, somewhat a loner – in contrast to the dashing gregarious life of the party of his youth. When Petersen chose acting as a career, she shadowed her dad’s role playing by immersing herself in other people skins. Watch the video on TikTok, where Bo gives insights into Pieces of Me. https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMrMAqxhC/ In the 2nd video, she talks with her cousin Chris Petersen; about their meeting in their late 20s and how on stage in this play, on piano, he is more than accompanist, he is a “piece” of her. They are pieces of each other.https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMrMAMohX/

It is a story which is not only heart breaking but it also reverberates in terms of how we all size and measure ourselves up in relation to our parents. It is story which goes beyond identity, family lies and betrayal. Pieces of Me is powerful raw and intensely moving. Read on about the season at the Baxter:

Pieces of each other: Bo Petersen with her cousin, Chris Petersen. Chris “accompanies” Bo on piano in her autobiographical play, Pieces of Me which is on a tour in South Africa, 2024. Hear what Bo and Chris say about working together: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMrMAMohX/ Pieces of Me will be staged in the Baxter Studio Theatre, July 10-27, 2024. Photo: © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen, June 2024.


Award-winning actress Bo Petersen returns to the Cape Town stage in her first full run in seven years at The Baxter July 2024.

Her internationally acclaimed autobiographical work PIECES OF ME will be performed at the Baxter Studio from July 10-27, 2024.

Presented by ASSITEJ SA, PIECES OF ME is Written and Performed by Bo Petersen, with Music by Chris Petersen, who was one of the founders of The Jazz Yard Academy in Bonteheuwel. The production is Directed by actor, musician and director, Royston Stoffels.

PIECES OF ME is a profoundly moving personal story of the unspoken histories that many people carry within them. An exploration of family secrets, with resonances that still echo today. It explores questions about identity: “Who are you, if you can no longer be who you are?”

Bo Petersen grew up in a white family in Apartheid South Africa. When she was 19 she uncovered her father’s secret. He was not white and had married the love of his life, who was white. From the age of 28 he lived as a white man. When Bo found out about her father’s hidden life, his secret, nearly 40 years ago, her life changed in a profound way. She became the custodian of his secret. She began writing “pieces” as a way of trying to understand her father, his “passing” and in turn, her “passing”. They were collaborators in their knowledge and silence.

What began as a solo show has now excitingly been expanded, with Bo’s cousin, musician Christopher Petersen, joining her on stage. This is a wonderful opportunity for Cape audiences to catch Bo before she returns to the USA.

“With Pieces of Me I want to kickstart conversations about identity, history and race amongst South African young people, and to build empathy and understanding of the ongoing impact of apartheid and colonialism, and of the unspoken histories that many people carry within them,” says writer and performer Bo Petersen.

My family story is not unique in South Africa. However, it is one that is not often told, and these stories need to be told, as part of a healing process for the devastating damage wreaked by the inhuman laws passed and entrenched by the Apartheid Government,” she says.

I am honoured and delighted that, for the South African tour, my cousin Christopher Petersen, is joining me on stage. He has created captivating music that enhances our shared personal story and experience on stage.”

Bookings can be made at Webtickets.

Audience response comments include:

Pieces Of Me was incredibly moving. It was a visceral reminder of the pain of identity, belonging, longing, loss and betrayal caused by apartheid, made personal and specific via the story of Bo’s father and his family. A remarkable and brave achievement.” David Wicht

a thought provoking and courageous piece of theatre – the narrative, Bo’s performance, the conversation.” Pat Orpen

…a deeply moving experience…searing narrative…Pieces of Me is an essentially South African story, one with which many of our people will identify” Elaine Davie, The Village News

“Pieces of Me is about family, love, duty, the art of acting, and Bo ties it all together beautifully. Pieces of Me shows the way oppressive national politics impacts family dynamics, and often leads to generational trauma. Bo’s performance is a powerful statement of selfhood and rejection of the divisions imposed by the laws of apartheid.  I found the show to be thoughtful, moving, and necessary.” N. Honwana

a deeply moving piece of story-telling… I won’t forget the experience of watching Bo, listening to her, and taking in the power of Pieces of Me for a long, long time.” Deborah Boston

an extraordinary story that hides both dramatic choices and human costs.Mode Steinkjer, Dagsavisen

It creates a space of remembrance where a performer carries the family’s history  Grace Tabea Tenga, scenekunst

Bo Petersen
is a dynamic and accomplished professional South African actor whose work on stage, film, TV and radio has spanned more than forty years. With a dedication to storytelling that transcends boundaries and her commitment to South African theatre, Bo has established a notable presence in the world of performing arts in her country of birth and now expanding to the USA and Norway. Bo’s enduring dedication to both the craft and the community has earned admiration both on and off the stage. Her body of work stands as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling and the magic of the performing arts. She currently resides in the USA where she continues to write, direct and perform.

PIECES OF ME will be performed at the Baxter Studio from July 10-27

Age advisory: No under 10s

Performance dates are:

July 10 until 19 at 20h00 (except Sunday and Monday)

July 23 until 27 at 20h00

July 13 and 27 at 15h00

Tickets cost from R165 to R220.

Tickets for pensioners and block bookings of ten or more cost R165.

Bookings can be made at Webtickets

Tickets are also available at Pick n Pay Stores.

The production is grateful for the support of Wise Wheels Car Rental, The Living Theatre and South Bend Civic Theatre.

Special thanks to Bo’s family, The Gurley Leep Automotive Family and all the other very generous donors from NYC and South Bend Indiana.

Visit https://www.bopetersen.biz/

Notes to Editors

Bo Petersen (Writer, Actress)

Bo Petersen’s illustrious career in the performing arts spans over four decades in the vibrant landscape of South African theatre. Guided by the esteemed Barney Simon, former artistic director of The Market Theatre, Bo’s passion for nurturing South African talent remains unwavering.

Primarily celebrated as an actor across stage, television, and film, Bo’s artistic journey has expanded to encompass a profound love for directing. Seventeen years ago, she embarked on this path alongside the multi-talented Graham Weir, lending her directorial prowess to four of his acclaimed plays.

During a transformative five-year collaboration, Bo honed the talents of Zimbabwean playwright Jonathan Nkala, directing and producing his trilogy of plays titled “COCKROACH,” which garnered acclaim both nationally and internationally.

2012 marked a significant milestone in Bo’s acting career with her mesmerizing performance in Athol Fugard’s “STATEMENTS,” earning her a coveted Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nomination for Best Actress. The production was further honoured by its inclusion in the prestigious South African Season in Edinburgh.

In 2014, Bo graced the Tony Award-winning play “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang, earning dual nominations for Best Supporting Actress and solidifying her status as a versatile performer.

The bustling year of 2016 saw Bo’s talents shine both on and off the stage. She captivated audiences with her performances in the debut of “The Graveyard” and “White Elephant,” while also directing Graham Weir’s acclaimed production “Dead Yellow Sands,” all garnering standing ovations and Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards.

Beyond her acting and directing endeavours, Bo has carved a niche as a dialogue and drama coach, lending her expertise to the film and advertising industry. Her collaborations boast a roster of esteemed actors, including Sidney Poitier, Michael Caine, Ryan Reynolds, Anna Friel, and Brendon Gleeson.

From 2013 to 2014, Bo served as the dialogue coach for Seasons 1 and 2 of “BLACK SAILS,” the largest TV series ever filmed in South Africa, further cementing her influence in the industry.

In 2017, Bo embarked on a new chapter, relocating to the USA with her family. There, she directed “Grand Concourse” at the South Bend Civic Theatre, staged “Hello and Goodbye” in Canada, and performed in Fred Abrahamse’s acclaimed production of “Night of the Iguana” at the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown.

In 2022, Bo embarked on a deeply personal journey with “Pieces of Me,” a play she describes as a culmination of her life’s work. Touring Norway, Sweden, and several US states, she eagerly anticipates bringing “Pieces of Me” back to her beloved South Africa.

Bo Petersen’s legacy is one of artistic brilliance, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to enriching South African theatre on the global stage.

Christopher Petersen (Music composition, Performer)

Christopher Petersen began his musical journey with basic education in music during childhood, but his passion and skill were largely self-taught thereafter. In his early years, he honed his craft as a bass player, lending his talents to a diverse array of pop, jazz, and ballroom bands.

A pivotal moment came when Petersen played a foundational role in establishing the Jazz Yard Academy in Bonteheuwel—an initiative aimed at uplifting youth through the transformative power of music. Serving as a catalyst for positive change, the Jazz Yard Academy used music as a universal language to inspire and empower young individuals.

In subsequent years, Petersen’s dedication to using music for social good led him to collaborate with the World’s Children’s Prize Foundation. From 2018 to 2022, he played a crucial role in selecting and preparing South African teen musicians for the Foundation’s annual ceremony in Sweden. Through this involvement, Petersen helped amplify the voices of young artists on an international stage, showcasing their talent and resilience.

Today, Petersen’s commitment to nurturing musical talent remains unwavering. He is deeply engaged in facilitating and training young musicians within various churches, where he cultivates contemporary worship bands. Drawing from his own experiences and inspirations, Petersen guides the next generation of musicians, instilling in them a passion for music as a form of spiritual expression.

At the heart of Petersen’s musical journey lies a profound influence from his father, Archie. As an exceptional baritone/bass singer, Archie not only passed down musical talent but also instilled in Petersen a deep appreciation for the power of music to connect, uplift, and inspire.

Royston Stoffels (Director)

Actor, Director, Musician and Teacher Royston Stoffels’ journey into the world of theatre commenced amidst the vibrant energy of high school plays in the tumultuous Sixties. From those formative experiences, his passion for the stage blossomed, leading him into the realms of community and educational theatre throughout the seventies.

In the ensuing decade, Stoffels found himself drawn into the captivating world of film and television, where he embraced further opportunities for artistic expression. His dedication and talent were duly recognized when he was honoured with a prestigious British Council Fellowship in 1985, affording him the chance to delve deeper into the craft of Directing and Community Theatre in the UK.

Upon his return, Stoffels became an integral part of the esteemed CAPAB Drama Company during the vibrant cultural landscape of the eighties. Not content with solely gracing the stage, he assumed the pivotal role of Education and Community Outreach Organiser, demonstrating his commitment to nurturing talent and fostering inclusivity within the theatrical community.

In the new millennium, Stoffels embarked on a new chapter in his illustrious career, assuming the role of senior Drama Lecturer at Stellenbosch University in 2000. Through his mentorship and guidance, he has inspired countless aspiring actors and directors, leaving an indelible mark on the future of South African theatre.

Beyond his theatrical endeavours, Stoffels is a multi-talented artist, honing his skills as a self-taught musician proficient in piano, guitar, and harmonica. His versatility knows no bounds, enriching both his performances and the lives of those fortunate enough to witness his artistic prowess.

With an impressive repertoire spanning over 52 years, Stoffels has lent his talents to over 120 productions, including a myriad of Shakespearean classics. His enduring dedication to the craft continues to captivate audiences, cementing his legacy as a true luminary of the stage.

Stage highlights include:

Athol Fugard – Hullo en Koebaai

Adam Small– Kanna hy Kó Hystoe

Shakespeare- Hamlet

Marc Lottering- Aunty Merle the Musical (1, 2 & 3)

Alice Childress – Trouble in Mind

Television and film include:

The History of the World





Yvette Hardie (South African Producer)

Yvette is a theatre director, producer, educator and advocate, focusing on theatre for young audiences. She initiated the launch of ASSITEJ SA (the national centre of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) in 2007, and leads the organisation as National Director. She served as President of the international ASSITEJ, which operates in close to 100 countries, from 2011 – 2021, and is now designated as Honorary President. In these capacities, she creates opportunities for artistic exchange, mentorship, skills development and cross-cultural collaboration across the world, while working to invigorate the South African theatrical landscape with work of the highest quality and widest accessibility. She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to arts for young audiences, arts education and arts for reconciliation and conflict resolution around the globe.

She produced the award-winning Colonnades Theatre Lab production, Truth in Translation, seen by more than 55 000 people worldwide, and was instrumental in the creation of a documentary film about the production, called A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake.  She serves as an advisor to Global Arts Corps, the organisation which was birthed through the process of Truth in Translation touring internationally.

She is director of FreeVoice Productions, an independent South African company, based in Cape Town, South Africa, committed to producing work that speaks to the core of what it means to be human in a complex and challenging world. The company brings together top-class talent for specific projects, which give free voice to marginalised and neglected members of our society, including the voices of women, children and young people. Productions include Between Cup and Lip, the award-winning The Ogreling/Izimyelincinci, which has toured South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Cameroon, and the highly acclaimed Mother to Mother, written by Sindiwe Magona, directed by Janice Honeyman and starring Thembi Mtshali-Jones in a tour-de-force performance, which has toured widely internationally, including to the Edinburgh Festival, Afrovibes in the Netherlands and National Black Theatre Festival, USA.  

As director, projects include Suzanne Lebeau’s The Ogreling and Mike van Graan’s Is it because I’m Jack? She also was Festival Director for the Out the Box Festival of Visual Theatre and Puppetry, in 2011, after having served as Family Festival Curator in 2010. She has successfully produced the international festival of theatre for children and young people, Cradle of Creativity, for ASSITEJ SA, in 2017, 2019 and 2023. She was awarded the 2019 Mickey Miner Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY), based in Philadelphia, USA for her contribution to theatre for young audiences locally and globally. She serves as Chairperson of the STAND (Sustaining Theatre and Dance) Foundation.

✳ Bo Petersen in Pieces of Me. Photo by Ingrid Fadnes. Supplied.