Brava Studio Sessions presents a staged reading of Waafrika by Nick Mwaluko
Directed by Addie Jean Ulrey
Tuesday April 19, 7pm - FREE!
1992. Kenya holds its first democratic elections. Meanwhile, in a remote rural village located some 250 kilometres northwest of the capital Nairobi, two queers fall in love: transmasculine Awino, a Luo; and Bobby, a queer femme formerly with the Peace Corps. As they live out their mutually intense attraction, famine strikes, leading the village to interpret the drastic change in climate as a sign: rain won't fall, crops won't grow, people are starving because there is evil among them and they know who it is: Awino. To put an end to the famine, to stop death through starvation, to restore order from chaos threatening the very core of their community, they circumcise Awino, ridding a queer lesbian of hir sexual pleasure and a transexual of hir penis. But will the amputation ablate gender? Or force the lesbians to love creatively, meaning more compassionately for one another? Does changing the body alter the reality through the (tribal) law? Uncut, who will they be? Intact, who can they be? Is sexuality still (as) empowering? Is there room in their hearts for a new definition of woman--man--and African? Does Awino force them to ask, Who can they not be and why?
Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko's plays include Waafrika 123, Homeless in the AfterLife, Blueprint for an African Lesbian, S/He, Trailer Park Tundra, 37, Life is About the Kill, Asymmetrical We, To Dyke Trans, Gender DYNamix, Shero and others. Nick is a member of the Oakland-based Ragged Wing Ensemble's Apprentice Program and is excited to be working with Brava Theater.
Addie Ulrey is a playwright, director, collaborative theater maker, and member of the Oakland-based Ragged Wing Ensemble. Born and raised in Michigan, she moved West in 2010 to seek her fortune. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and has trained at the Eugene O'Neill Center, the Double Edge Theater, and the Moscow Art Theater.