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Theatre Review:Silent Voices at National Theatre

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Theatre Review:Silent Voices at National Theatre

Sunday 18th and Monday 19th October 2015.

This will be the grand finale of this play with the Luo ‘Dwon Ma Peke’ the Acholi version and Silent Voices the English language production

The weekend shows will be showing from 4pm with the Acholi version and at 6.30pm for the English version. On Monday 19th October, the shows will be running from 6pm and 8.30pm for the Acholi and English versions respectively.

Silent Voices, written by Adong Judith Lucy is a theatrical production that projects the happenings that characterized the Kony war and its terror in Northern Uganda.

Rousing journey of Silent Voices

In her own words Adong, the playwright reveals the terror that was meted out to countless victims of the 20-year conflict in Northern Uganda.

As an Acholi woman, born and raised in this region, I was one of the young people who walked every evening to spend the night at the infamous Gulu bus park referenced in the viral “KONY 2012” video. I was a student at the high school where 44 young girls were abducted by Joseph Kony and his LRA rebels.

These horrifying events are deeply personal to me, and yet I consider myself to have been fortunate: Because of a miracle or call it chance, I was able to leave war-ravaged Gulu for college and thereafter to work in Kampala.

As a result growing up amidst this conflict, I knew only the feeling of terror, but was not aware of the bitterness, betrayal and injustice that so many Acholi survivors feel towards local and national government leaders.

Between 2007-2010, I returned to Gulu and began to interview men, women and children who survived Kony’s reign of terror.

I visited rehabilitation centers for child soldiers in Gulu to study how theater was being used in the psychosocial therapy of the children who filled the ranks of Kony’s army, one of the largest child armies in human history.

I also listened to the anger and frustration expressed by victims about the Amnesty Act, which they felt ‘rewarded’ perpetrators for confessing to often heinous crimes. I felt so strongly that these stories these war-weary yet defiant voices needed to be heard and witnessed by the world.

This is why I wrote Silent Voices. The title isn’t a reference to the people of Northern Uganda, whose voices are powerful, raw and stunning. Rather, it speaks to the repressive silencing these victims feel that their government is forcing on them in the name of forgiveness.

Developed at the Sundance Theater Lab, Silent Voices had its world premiere at the National Theater of Uganda in 2012.

This production brought victims, political, religious and cultural leaders, members of the Amnesty Commission and transitional justice leaders together for critical, transformative conversations about the compensation of victims and the National Peace and Reconciliation Bill.

For many in the Kampala audience, the atrocities in Gulu were unfamiliar and shocking. It was stunning for me to realize that so many in southern Uganda were oblivious to the horrors taking place in northern Uganda.

Production Manager Speaks out

Andrew Lwanga Ssebaggala the co- producer says that, Silent Voices is a theatre play written & Directed by Adong Lucy Judith at it has been showcased in different areas.

2015 in Gulu at Gulu SSS (Invisible children hall) with 2 more shows that took place on Sat-19th and Sun-20th sept.
Other places included Kitgum- 22nd/23rd/24th Sept, lira- 26th/27th/28th Sept

And finally, Silent Voices now comes to Kampala at the Uganda National Theatre, it will be showing beginning Saturday-17th, 18th, 19th October 2015 in a back to back performance in Luo dubbed ‘DWON MA PEKE’ and English languages and according to Ssebaggala, this is the first of its kind.

Silent Voices is sponsored among others by Doen foundation, Harold & Mimi steinberg charitable trust, Sundance institute, Uganda National Theatre, House of Talent East Africa, Gulu SSS, in Movement-Kansanga, Gulu Central high school, Taibah International School, Police Primary School-Gulu, Hilder Nursery and Primary School-Gulu among others.

The Persons behind the Project:
•Adong Judith Lucy Artistic Creative, Producer, Playwright
•Andrew Ssebaggala Lwanga Jedidiah: Co-Producer/Production Manager
•Kaya Kagimu Mukasa a renown Playwright, creative director
•Grace Flavia Ibanda, a renowned arts educationalist and dance choreographer
•Micheal Wawuyo, renown actor and
•Andrew Kiyegga to mention but a few

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