The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University will present a return engagement of Ifeoma Fafunwa’s previously sold-out show, Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True, inspired by multi-generational Nigerian stories of inequality and transformation. The dance and performance piece, which debuted at the Harvard Dance Center in 2016, is created and directed by Fafunwa.
Performances will be in the Loeb Drama Center, January 26–February 11.
“‘Hear word’ is Nigerian Pidgin for ‘listen and comply,’” explains Fafunwa. “Nigerians use it as a warning or threat to women or children. With this show, I want to flip the script to say, ‘Listen and learn from what women have to say,’ because if we continue with the way things are going, we will surely never progress.”
Fafunwa is the founder and director of iOpenEye, a Nigerian production company driving social change through performance art. In Hear Word! she presents intimate portraits of resilience and resistance to examine the lives of women living in Nigeria.
“Hear Word! celebrates the powerful voices of Nigerian women,” says A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus. “At a time when we in the U.S. must turn our attention with new urgency with the work of combating sexual and gender violence, Hear Word! is a rousing global call to rise up, stand together, and speak out.”
The cast is made up of Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, Bimbo Akintola, Ufuoma McDermott, Elvina Ibru, Omonor, Zara Udofia-Ejoh, Rita Edward, Debbie Ohiri, and Odenike, as well as drummers Emeka Christian Anokwuru, Frank Ebisidor Asiyai, and Blessing Akpofure Idireri.
For tickets and a schedule of post-show talkbacks, visit AmericanRepertoryTheater.org.