The Raped A.N.T.I.

by Zhang Xian

 

After the king raped A-N-T-I, the daughter of the former king, something unexpected takes place. The woman, whose clothes were taken off by force, refuses to put on her clothes again. She remains naked one hour, two hours, one day, two days, one week, two weeks.  By self-violation and long-lasting silence, the woman revolts against the king, intentionally spreads the news of this scandal around the whole country and finally causes a political crisis. The king tried every means to persuade her to put on her clothes and compromise with him. After fruitless persuasion, imploration, threatening, luring, and fooling, the king breaks down at last. He comes to know that when the raped deliberately allows herself become filthier than the rapist, the rapist himself feels raped instead.


 Zhang Xian was born in Shanghai in 1955. Zhang began his pursuit of literature during the Culture Revolution, when he was sent to China southwestern border province of Yunnan to be a child worker at the age of 15. After a decade of living in Yunnan Province, Zhang returned to live in Shanghai.  From the beginning of China modern reform period in the late 1970 Zhang has been at the forefront of China art scene writing scripts and directing. His main stage works include OWL IN THE HOUSE and MOTHER LANGUAGE. Zhang also wrote the script for the film, THE LADY WHO STAYED, nominated for Best Film on the 16th Cairo International Film Festival. Zhang is currently collaborating with Director Wang Guangli on two film projects, co-writing the scripts for co-production GO FOR BROKE with the Shanghai Film Studio and the second film of the Wang's Work Trilogy, MODEL WORK. 

Alive in the Mortuary

by Candace Chong Mui Ngam

 

 It is inspired by stories from volunteers of Medecins sans Frontieres, Alive in the Mortuary probes the struggle of a Hong Kong surgeon in Angola who is strapped in the mortuary of a temporary hospital due to local warring parties attack. In this desperate situation that any action outside fills him with dread, he came into a strange mental aberration, and he meets an engineer. They first start a row on various medical issues and meaning of life, but then they recognize each other, and share the same dream, same mission and facing the same trouble.

 

Chong Mui Ngam graduated from the Faculty of Social Science of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, majoring in Psychology and the School of Drama of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majoring in playwriting. 

She joined Chung Ying Theatre Company as a member of Playwright Theatre Creative Team, where she wrote Alive in the Mortuary and Angel Aurora. She also wrote Love in the Red Chamber, Venezia Cafe of the Portland Street, Changing Cast, Shall We Go to Mars and translated The Village of Widows. Besides, she has been the assistant to director in including The Rivals, The Dark Tales and Ruan Lingyu and the script writer of TV documentary Hong Kong Today and Stories From Afar. 

Chong was awarded the first runner-up in Script-writing competition of 26th Hong Kong Youth Literature Award and was awarded the Outstanding Playwright from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 2003, she received the Best Script Award at the 12th & 14th Hong Kong Drama Awards.

She has been awarded in 2004 the Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship by Asian Cultural Council to spend 12 months in the United States.

The French Kiss

by Candace Chong Mui Ngam
 

After a romantic evening, Michelle, Macro’s secretary, lodges a complaint and Macro is arrested by the police and charged with sexual harassment. This incident ends Marco’s career as a pastor and ultimately costs him his faith.

 

Five years later they meet at a party…

 

Can they really forgive and forget?
 

Chong Mui Ngam graduated from the Faculty of Social Science of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, majoring in Psychology and the School of Drama of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majoring in playwriting. 

She joined Chung Ying Theatre Company as a member of Playwright Theatre Creative Team, where she wrote Alive in the Mortuary and Angel Aurora. She also wrote Love in the Red Chamber, Venezia Cafe of the Portland Street, Changing Cast, Shall We Go to Mars and translated The Village of Widows. Besides, she has been the assistant to director in including The Rivals, The Dark Tales and Ruan Lingyu and the script writer of TV documentary Hong Kong Today and Stories From Afar. 

Chong was awarded the first runner-up in Script-writing competition of 26th Hong Kong Youth Literature Award and was awarded the Outstanding Playwright from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 2003, she received the Best Script Award at the 12th & 14th Hong Kong Drama Awards.

She has been awarded in 2004 the Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship by Asian Cultural Council to spend 12 months in the United States. 

Shall We Go to Mars?

by Candace Chong Mui Ngam

 

In Mong Kok, there is a quiet “dog-walking” street in where dog-lovers walk their pets every evening. One day, Jimmy, an old man suffering from terminal cancer, comes to the street. He brings along with him a worn-out suitcase and an astronomical telescope, wondering if he can find a proper place to gaze Mars. He meets five dog-lovers there, and hopes to make friends with them. However, each of these people with whom he comes across is perplexed by his/her own problem. Having difficulty in communicating with others, Jimmy does not make himself a popular person among his new acquaintances.

What will be his way out – Continuing with his lonely journey or succeeding in convincing someone to join his adventure to Mars?

 

Chong Mui Ngam graduated from the Faculty of Social Science of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, majoring in Psychology and the School of Drama of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majoring in playwriting. 

She joined Chung Ying Theatre Company as a member of Playwright Theatre Creative Team, where she wrote Alive in the Mortuary and Angel Aurora. She also wrote Love in the Red Chamber, Venezia Cafe of the Portland Street, Changing Cast, Shall We Go to Mars and translated The Village of Widows. Besides, she has been the assistant to director in including The Rivals, The Dark Tales and Ruan Lingyu and the script writer of TV documentary Hong Kong Today and Stories From Afar. 

Chong was awarded the first runner-up in Script-writing competition of 26th Hong Kong Youth Literature Award and was awarded the Outstanding Playwright from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 2003, she received the Best Script Award at the 12th & 14th Hong Kong Drama Awards.

She has been awarded in 2004 the Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship by Asian Cultural Council to spend 12 months in the United States. 

Le Fils d'un Survivant

by Jean-Marie V. Rurangwa

 This play was written in Bruxelles in November 1999, five short years after the Rwandan genocide and it is infused with the passionate need to recount those horrific events within the public forum of a staged story.  In Act I, Bugabo and his fiancée Jeanne are planning their honeymoon following their upcoming marriage.  It is the night when President Habyarimana’s plane is shot down and the terrifying genocidal atrocities begin, brutally interrupting the benign pleasures of this young academic couple.  A former acadmic colleague arrives with the Hutu Power soldiers and explains all the motives of the genocide to Bugabo and Jeanne as he forces them to submit to his sadistic enactments.  Bugabo is stabbed with a machete and Jeanne is taken off to be raped and burned alive.  In Act II, Bugabo has been saved by a moderate Hutu named Habiyakare who saved many Tutsi’s and he is being nursed back to health.  After 4 months (the genocide lasted 100 days) Bugabo awakens from amnesia and asks to be told what happened.  Habiyakare explains to Bugabo in excruciating details everything that took place that night and to Bugabo’s family members over the following days.  A former Belgian colleague invite’s Bugabo to come to Namur, Belgium to recuperate, renew his life and to find a way to dedicate his life to the memory of his lost loved ones.  In Act III, Bugabo is in Belgium with other survivors, some who defend choosing a “non-life” of drink and drugs to forget the trauma they have experienced.  Bugabo and his friends debate the need to carry on and tell the story.  Bugabo confides that since his recovery he has been impotent with his Belgian wife Brigitte, because he still sees the flames around Jeanne but that Jeanne came to him in a dream and released him to love Brigitte and remake his life.  That night they were able to consummate their marriage and even beget a child, Butera Bwa Bugabo.  In Act IV, the community of Rwandans and Belgians celebrate the new boy as Bugabo narrates how his son will be a bridge between nations and races and a warrior for peace in the world. 

Les Caprices du Destine

by Jean-Marie V. Rurangwa

 

Written to be performed by college students and presented to young audiences, The Whims of Destiny delivers a lot of graphic and authentic information about the Rwanda genocide in a concise short play that turns around a particular group of Hutus and Tutsis both during and shortly following the events of 1994.  Sakabaka is a militant Hutu Interahamwe warrior whose first appearance onstage is with his machete soaked in blood.  In Act I, he tries to convince his brother-in-law Minega, also Hutu, to take up the machete and murder his own Tutsi (1/4 blood) wife and children.  Minega’s sister arrives bloodied, having already done the deed.  The arguments put forward are a clear and chilling portrait of the claimed Hutu “logic” for the killing.  In Act II, we are with a group of Tutsis, one a survivor of horrific attrocities (described), talking about whether they can or should stay in Rwanda to rebuild their nation after the total decimation of their families.  Suddenly, Sakabaka appears with a surprising story – on his father’s deathbed, Sakabaka learned that he was a Tutsi orphan taken and raised as a Hutu.  He is now in search of his Tutsi family and in this house he discovers them – in fact he discovers his cousin, who accuses him of being the assassin who raped and murdered her family.  The play ends with Sakabaka calling out in tears and anguish.

The Woman in Me

 

by Charles Mulekwa

Adam and Eve, a young ideal couple, have found true love.  But the sins of their parents visit them, and hover over the affair: the parents do not see eye to eye, owing to some emotional events in the past.  This happening, however, compels the parents to come face to face, igniting a ceaseless feud. As the parents engage in a win or ruin clash, the children they bore experience the hurtfulness that love bears.

Charles Mulekwa was born in Mbale Uganda in 1966. He has been involved in theatre since 1983 in Uganda, as an actor, director and writer. Between 1990 and 1992, he taught at King’s College Buddo. In 1994 he attended the Royal Court International Residency, and in 1998 went as an actor to the John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington, USA. He has also given talks on Uganda theatre on BBC radio, at the Universities of Bayreuth and Hamburg, in Germany, and Cambridge University, in the UK. As well as stage and radio plays, he has also written poetry and short stories. In 1999, funded by the British Council and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation, he graduated from the M.A. in Playwriting run by David Edgar at the University of Birmingham, in the UK and was attached to the Royal National Theatre Studio as a writer in residency.  The same year, he was the Chief Judge for the BBC African performance season for radio drama.  The Royal Court Theatre, London, commissioned him to write a play,‘Black Diamond’. He Produced August Wilson’s JITNEY in Uganda, and worked as the film consultant for THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND.

Lagoma is Searching

by Deborah Asiimwe

Lagoma Is Searching is a two-character play based on a true story of a Ugandan young man in his early twenties. Dive Lagoma the protagonist, has grown up with his mother and an abusive stepfather. As he grows up he realizes that the one he calls his father treats him differently from the rest of his siblings, he wants to know “Why?” and his search starts. In his search for a “PASSWORD” to life, to joy, to acceptance….to what you would call noble and good, Lagoma finds himself entangled in alcohol, drug addiction and prostitution. At the verge of committing suicide he meets Aside Kashi, a theatre practitioner who performs with former street children, it is then that he decides to share his life’s story, his search. Does he find or the search continues? Lagoma Is Searching. 

 

Deborah Asiimwe Kashugi is an actress, director and playwright. She has done theatre with both local and international theatre artists. One of the participants in last summer’s conference of African playwrights at the University of Iowa in 2004. In 2003 she was invited in Philippines to attend a Women Playwrights International Conference (WPI), where she was appointed a member of WPI advisory committee. In the same year she attended 2003 Sundance Theatre Lab (Utah-USA). In 2002, she participated in the Sourcework workshop with other theatre artists from East Africa, Poland and USA, held at Towson University (USA) and Warsaw Theatre Academy (Poland). Deborah was also one of the writers for DISH(11) project radio episodes program, a project of the John Hopkins University. She has written plays for Non Governmental Organiations like Forum for Women in Democracy (Uganda), Kampala Pentecostal Church (KPC-Uganda). Deborah is an artistic director of KPC Drama Team, a team that is comprised of young people. She has a diploma in Music, Dance and Drama from Makerere University and she is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Drama at Makerere University. Her recent play Lagoma Is Searching (a play that deals with drug addiction among young people) was performed at Uganda National Cultural Centre-National Theatre in October 2004.

Baggage

by Fateh Azzam

A small, haunted memory play examining the relation between political and social fear. The TRAVELER is in the airport, where a voice gives the usual security announcements (if your bags are unattended, they will be destroyed) and some that are less conventional (Washington Dulles is at gate 12B, the future is at whatever gate you travel to, and love and liberty, well you have to find those gates before they close). When he is stopped and his bags are searched, he enters a reverie, sparked by the memory of how he got the bag. It was given to him by “the tall people in the white trucks who came to help us”—help them, for they were in the orchards being shot at. The traveler’s memory continues to expand, as he remembers moving from one cement building to another, his punishment for things he didn’t do, and his questions as to whether God will help his plight. He takes a gun from his bag and reminisces about his mother—remembering as a soldier writing home, how hard it is to carry a gun, but how he has no other options: without papers he cannot get a desk job. He seems overcome by an ideal of violence (his cousin loves to fight) but is finally torn. Snap back to the airport, where he cannot board the plane without giving up the bag—representing his memories, culture, childhood. He goes back and forth, but as the lights come down, he is still torn, unable to let go of the past in order to move to a more conventional future.

Fateh Azzam was born in 950 in Lebanon of Palestinian refugee parents. Azzam grew up in Syria and Lebanon and immigrated to the United States in 1966. Professional theater performer, choreographer, director and teacher from 1971-1987. Full time work has been in human rights and legal activism since then (a human rights curriculum vitae is available upon request). Have maintained some involvement in theater on an ongoing basis. Traveled extensively and lived in Syria, Lebanon, USA, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and in Egypt since 1998. . Fluent spoken and written English and Arabic, French stands at about 60 percent. US citizen. Married to Mary McKone, teacher and ceramic artist. Two children, Rami (20) and Haneen (16). Writing includes: · Baggage; a play in one act, in Dr. Salma Jayyusi, Editor, Short Arabic Plays: An Anthology (Northampton, Mass.: Interlink Books, 2003)· Ansar: The Play; written in workshop with Nidal Khatib, Ismail Dabbagh and Abed Ju’beh. In Dr. Salma Jayyusi, Editor, Short Arabic Plays: An Anthology (Northampton, Mass.: Interlink Books, 2003) · "Zoo Story: A New Reading into an Old Play" theater review, in Al-Quds, E. Jerusalem (Oct. 1995) (Arabic). · "Kafka on the West Bank: A Tourist's Guide to Curfews on the West Bank" (with George Giacaman) in Harper's Magazine (February 1995). · "Theater in Occupied Palestine" in al-Fajr English Weekly, E. Jerusalem (3-part series; July 1991).

Back to Table of Contents

P'tite Souillure

by Koffi Kwahulé

A seemingly happy bourgeois family of three gathers in the living room to celebrate the anniversary of the parents’ first meeting in a movie theater. When the door rings the daughter opens to a young man who introduces himself as “the thunder’s son coming to burn down the house”. Nobody seems to have met the man before yet the daughter recognizes him as Ikedia. The play unfolds like a film in a sequence of tableaux set in closed spaces – a pervasive cinematic metaphor underscores the whole drama through intertextual references to Gone with the Wind – to reveal the hidden contradictions of a psychologically disturbed family. Ikedia, a rather taciturn character, appears as a magnet and a mirror, seducing each of the three characters in turn, and forcing one after the other to undergo introspection and expose his/her true self. Thus, the mother comes out as mentally unstable, a condition she developed since gunning down the bearer of the mask, Ikedia’s father. Throughout the play she undergoes a progressive verbal degeneracy that culminates in infantile language. The father and his daughter, whom he calls “Ptite Souillure”(the title of the play), maintain an incestuous relationship that triggers animosity between mother and daughter and which justifies the adolescent’s wish to leave the family at any cost, even if it entails killing her parents. Ikedia eventually renounces his initial resolve to burn down the house – an act the daughter sees and encourages as necessary vengeance for his father’s murder – when it became obvious that the family is embarked on an irreversible self destructive process.

Koffi Kwahulé was born in Abengourou (Ivory Coast). He studied at the Institut National des Arts in Abidjan, then at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre in Paris (Rue Blanche) as well as at the Sorbonne Nouvelle where he earned a doctorate in theatre studies.

His plays include Cette vieille magie noire (RFI 1st Prize in International Playwriting), Fama (dir. by the playwright, Festival de Limoges, 1998), Jaz (dir. by D. Giordano, Teatro del Fontanone in Rome, 2000), Le Masque boiteux (dir. by S. Koly and A. Dine, Glob Théâtre in Bordeaux, 2002), Bintou (dir. by. R. Gasquet, Théâtre Océan Nord in Brussels, 2003), P’tite-Souillure (dir. by E. Salzmannovà, DISK in Prague, 2003; Award winner at the Journées d’Auteurs in Lyon), Scat (dir. by Y. Bombay, Comédie de Saint-Etienne, 2003), La Dame du café d’en face (dir. by J. Heldenberg, Zuidpool Theater in Antwerp, 2004; SACD-RFI Prize 1994), Big Shoot (dir. by K/ Frédric, Théâtre Denise-Pelletier in Montréal, 2005).

 His plays have been published by Editions Lansman, Actes Sud-Papiers, Acoria and Theatrales, and have been translated into several languages.