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The Road to Nieu Bethesda

The Road to Nieu Bethesda

Posted by Education @ Roundabout - December 13th, 2011

Nestled in a kloof or valley in the Karoo region, the village lies next to the Sneeuberg Mountains. Although Nieu Bethesda is surrounded by the arid dessert of the Karoo, the secluded town is an oasis amidst that vast dessert. Nieu Bethesda receives its water from a spring on a plateau just above the town. A furrow system brings the water down to the homes of Nieu Bethesda. The town has limited modern resources, including no street lights, gas station, or bank.

Graaff-Reinet is the nearest developed town to Nieu Bethesda, an hour away by car. This town has museums, art galleries, attractions, and larger businesses and schools than those in Nieu Bethesda.

The Road to Nieu Bethesda

Dirt road in the Village of Nieu Bethesda

Cape Town

Elsa lives in Cape Town, located in the Western Cape of South Africa and one of the most urban cities in South Africa. Due to policies set forth by the South African government in the 1970s, Cape Town was largely populated with white citizens, while black citizens were forced to the outer suburbs.

The National Route

Built in the 1970s, it functions as a route to and from Nieu Bethesda.  Elsa would have taken this 12-hour car ride from Cape Town.

The Karoo

Eastern Cape of South Africa. The Great Karoo is a narrow strip of semi dessert; Karoo deriving from the meaning, “the land of thirst.” 

The Road to Nieu Bethesda

Map of Southern tip of Africa

The Road to Mecca is playing at the American Airlines Theatre December 16, 2011 through March 4, 2012. For more information, click here.


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Roundabout Theatre Company Roundabout Theatre Company is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.