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PEN World Voices: International Play Festival 2015: Angella Emurwon – Strings

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May 5, 2015
May 5, 2015
Segal Theatre

Photo by Gaia Squarci

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents World Voices: International Play Festival 2015. As part of the 2015 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, the Segal Center will showcase play readings by nine of the world’s most respected dramatists Afghanistan, Argentina, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Kenya, and Uganda.

The International Play Festival generates a conversation on art, politics, dreams, war, and philosophy, meant to give American audiences a rich awareness of the greater global dialogue. Selected readings will be followed by a discussion with the playwright.

Tuesday, May 5

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Written by Angella Emurwon (Uganda)
Directed by Awoye Timpo
2:00pm | Segal Theatre

After 20 years away, Baaba, the family patriarch, is set to return home. Maama has ruled the homestead with a firm hand and acrid tongue, and has created a family myth that helps her maintain status in the community and keep the rest of the family in line. The return of Baaba forces her now-grown children to evaluate their relationships with Maama and their place in the world, while Uncle Lokil, Baaba’s brother and Maama’s on-again off-again lover, sees Baaba’s return as an opportunity to regain his rightful place in Maama’s life. This reading will be followed by a conversation with Angella Emurwon.


1. Angella Emurwon (1)Angella Emurwon is a writer, award-winning playwright, stage director, and screenwriter based in Tororo, Uganda. She has written three radio plays —Blackberry Girls! (2009), The Cow Needs a Wife (2010), and Sunflowers Behind a Dirty Fence (2012) — two of which have won BBC Radio Drama awards. She has also directed three stage plays — The Cow Needs a Wife, adapted by Angella Emurwon (2011); The River and the Mountain, Beau Hopkins (2012); and Macbeth, William Shakespeare (2013). Her first full length stage play, Strings, received a dramatic reading by Rogers Otieno at the 2014 Kampala International Theatre Festival directed. She is a Sundance Theatre Institute East Africa fellow, a member of the 2013 Lincoln Theater Center Directors Lab NY, and a Maisha Film Lab screenwriting and youth mentor. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and has been commission to adapt Sunflowers Behind a Dirty Fence for film.


The 11th Annual PEN World Voices of International Literature, “On Africa,” New York City, May 4-10, 2015. More than 100 Writers from 30 countries celebrate the transformative power of the written word. This year’s program, co-curated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, takes you beyond the news by providing a rare chance to hear voices and perspectives from contemporary Africa and its diaspora. www.penworldvoices.org


The PEN World Voices: International Play Festival was conceived, created, and curated by Frank Hentschker in 2005.
2015 Festival produced by Christine Scarfuto (New York) in collaboration with Frank Hentschker.


*If you are interested in helping with PEN World Voices, please contact Yu Chien Liu at yliu6@gc.cuny.edu.