Sundance Theatre Program producing artistic director Philip Himberg will supervise the workshop that runs July 9-29 on the Island of Manda, off the Kenyan coast. Previous exploratory East Africa Labs, which were not run by Sundance, spawned Ngwino Ubeho, which was developed at the Theatre Lab in Sundance, UT last year.
Creative advisors are American director Liesl Tommy (The Good Negro, Eclipsed, Angela's Mixtape) and African artist George Seremba.
The works include Cut Off My Tongue, written and performed by Sitawa Namwalie, along with performer and choreography by Lillian Amimo Olembo.
"Cut Off My Tongue is a collection of dramatized texts that incorporate poetry, spoken word, narrative, music, dance and movement. The piece deals with interrelated stories about life in Kenya grouped around tribe and ethnicity, African womanhood, love and desire, political critique, tradition and genealogy," according to Sundance.
The Book of Life is conceived and directed by Odile Gakire Katese. Ruzibiza Wesley will choreograph, with performances by Samuel Kamanzi and Mutangana Moise, who also composed music for the work. "Formed from a collection of letters written by widows of the 1994 Tutsi Genocide to their loved ones, the project transcends space and time as illustrates the living desire to reconnect with the dead so as to go past the pain. To find healing, to find joy, to find love and to celebrate life."
Africa Kills Her Sun, adapted and performed by Mrisho Mpoto, is based on the book by Ken Saro-Wiwa. Gilbert Lukala will direct.
"Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-1995) was hanged by the Nigerian dictatorship in 1995 for his activism on behalf of his Nigerian Ogoni people. The original text is a condemned man’s last letter to his loved one. Mpoto will adapt this text and use his poetic style in Kiswahili to combine it with slam poetry and storytelling to talk about corruption and abuse of power in contemporary Africa."
The final work will be Lucy Judith Adong's Silent Voices, directed by Jacob Otieno and choreographed by Grace Flavia Ibanda.
"Silent Voices mirrors the views and emotions of the real victims of the Northern Uganda war. The project explores how victims have been ignored in the constant calls to 'forgive' and 'reconcile' at the expense of justice."