Actress Busi Lurayi was supposed to start rehearsals for a new theatre show at the Market Theatre on Monday, a day after she died.
Lurayi, whose cause of death is still unknown, had landed a role in a play called Ruined that is directed by Clive Mathibe.
The play will be staged as part of Women’s Month celebrations. It is set to open on August 5.
Speaking to SowetanLIVE on Friday, Mathibe said despite the sad news on Monday, the rehearsal had to continue.
He said they had to host auditions on Wednesday for Busi’s replacement and actress Hlengiwe Lushaba got the part.
“It was difficult moment for me because the cast members were not aware. They were going to meet for the first time. But we sadly let the show continue in her honour.
"Busi was my friend and one of the greatest actors. When we received the sad news, I had to think on my feet. We found a suitable replacement which is Hlengiwe Lushaba.
“Ruined is an interesting and painful story that took place in Congo during the wars where women were used as weapons. We follow a story taking place at a brothel in Uhuru where women have been turned into sex slaves of soldiers.”
The Market Theatre Foundation said in a statement: “Busi Lurayi's passing is a huge loss to the performing arts.
"The Market Theatre staff will miss her smile, laughter and her always taking the time to make small talk on her breaks during rehearsals. Her roles in productions such as Nina Simone's Four Women, Paradise Blue and Frontiers have won awards.”