Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Rohio and Juliet" - a Kenyan musical

The Mubanga workers discuss their grievances
Just finished our first run of "Rohio and Juliet"!   This was the Word2Life drama ministry's stab at contextualizing "Romeo and Juliet" to a Kenyan context, along with inspiration from "West Side Story" in terms of making it a musical.  What a tremendous experience!   They did the impossible, writing the outline in a month, finishing the script and writing all the music in 2 weeks, and rehearsing it in a month (with dance, music and script development still going on!).

The result pleased large audiences for 2 nights, and they are clamoring for a re-staging!  The story is very appropriate for Kenya today, as it was set among class/economic wars, between landowners and workers, with Rohio and Juliet coming from the two different groups.
Rohio and Juliet dance and sing of their love

The Word2Life team was responding to the series at Mamlaka Hill Chapel on "The Ten Most Pressing Issues Facing Kenyans."  They did a short sketch based on Romeo and Juliet and decided that it would be a good script to contextualize to Kenya, since so many of the issues (tribalism, rivalry, economics, hate and greed) are embedded in the plot.

What made the whole production wonderful was the commitment and dedication of the cast and crew, rehearsing long hours, after work and school, in just a month, in order to get it stage ready.  It had to be put on September 1 because it was a part of Artfest, another initiative of Mamlaka Hill Chapel that takes a month every 2 years to celebrate the arts, Christian artists, and arts in the church.  But now that we've done it once, we can work out the kinks and stage it again, hopefully soon!  The team is looking forward to making a difference in Kenya through this entertaining and thought-provoking musical.
Mama Busara sings about an unchanging God

Rohio kills Tyler

1 comment:

  1. I watched the drama "Rohio & Juliet" on Sunday and immensely enjoyed it. I would love to help promote it so as other Kenyans can enjoy its powerful and timely message.
    The play is not only wrapped in a timeless Shakespearean masterpiece but in biblical wit which makes it not only relevant to the Kenyan situation but has the ability to appeal to a diverse audience. The drama remains a clearly underutilized mode of evangelization.