Global Black Voices, August 2019

Presented in association with the Roundhouse. Curated by Bridget Minamore, the plays presented are:

I Love Him BUT… by Maxwell Odoi-Yeboah (Ghana)

Directed by Sean Graham

Performed by Oyin Orija, Kwame Asiedu, Susan Abebe, Ben Scheck, Comfort Fabian, Benjamin Sarpong-Broni, and Michael Oluborode

Jesse and Akua have to separate as a couple because of Jesse’s alleged infidelity. Mercy, their only child, is about to get married and Akua will not allow Jesse to play his role as father during the traditional marriage ceremony. Their friends, Nii Armah and Aba are facing a similar situation as a warring couple. Aba, however, has decided to fight for the love of her husband. Will marriage prevail?

Deux Femmes on the Edge de la Revolution by France-Luce Benson (USA/Haiti)

Directed by Kaleya Baxe

Performed by Miranda Shamiso and Helen Baranova

A pig is sacrificed, a goddess seduces a young bride, and enslaved and self-liberated Africans on the island of San Domingue rise up to end slavery and destroy colonialism. The epic story of the Haitian Revolution is told from the perspective of two women who form an unlikely alliance. Like the rebels, their journey will forever change the course of history.

The Preacher’s Wife by Shayera Dark (Nigeria)

Directed by Abigail Sewell

Performed by Akiya Henry and Adele Oni

The play follows the relationship of a popular megachurch pastor’s wife and her young lesbian lover in the aftermath of the passage of the anti-gay law in Nigeria, and how they deal with the new challenges presented. 

No Easter Sunday for Queers by Koleka Putuma (South Africa)

Directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr.

Performed by Tyrone Sann, Comfort Fabian, Miranda Shamiso, Oyin Orija, and Susan Abebe

A nonlinear play shining a light on South African hate crimes in intimate relationships and broader society. Two queer lovers who are murdered at a church over Easter Sunday. The play explores how religion, religious communities and often our families play a huge role in instigating and executing hate crimes. It aims to find a language and dialogue that will serve as a bridge between the queer child who is raised in an orthodox religious environment and the environment itself.

54 Silhouettes by Africa Ukoh (Nigeria)

Directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour

Performed by Tobi King Bakare, Michael Fatogun, and Cherise Silvestri

A struggling Nigerian actor gets his shot at fame and fortune when his agent lands him a role in a major Hollywood blockbuster, but then he discovers it’s exactly what he swore to never do again—another “war in Africa” film. Caught between career ambitions and ideals of his African identity, he must decide whether to do the damn film or ditch it.

How Blood Go by Lisa Langford (USA)

Directed by Stella Odunlami

Performed by Tosin Alabi, Annabel Pemberton, Tyrone Sann, and Daniel Reid-Walters

Quinntasia is an African-American woman about to embark on a career as a health and fitness expert. Her ancestor, Bean, was an unwitting participant in the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment in 1930s. Quinntasia learns her healthy body is the result of a futuristic experimental device, activated without her consent, that makes her appear White to doctors. Will Quinntasia give up her Blackness to make her dream come true? Meanwhile, Bean and his brother, Ace, relive their own experience with unethical medical treatment in while watching over Quinntasia.

The post-performance panel discussion was curated by Bridget Minamore and featured poet and performance maker Inua Ellams, Afridiziak Theatre editor Sophia A. Jackson, and writer Jasmine Lee-Jones.

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