Silent Voices Uganda’s back-to-back production of Lucy Judith Adong’s two plays Holy Maria and Blood will run at the Uganda National Theatre in Kampala on January 27, 28, and 29.
Holy Maria is a 30-minute comedy on the the womanising ways of Pastor John Ssemana (acted by Robert Ernest Bbumba) and addresses the issue of whether motherhood diminishes the sex appeal of women. It explores how men tend to see their wives only as mothers of their children rather than sexual partners.
The idea for the play was borne when in 2013 at the Short + Sweet Theatre Festival in Harare, Zimbabwe, the officials called for 10-minute plays that explore how the advent of social media has affected our lives.
Adong responded to the call with Holy Maria, which was selected and presented at the Harare International Festival of the Arts, directed by renowned Zimbabwean director, Gamu Patience Tawengwa.
Holy Maria was later developed into a 30-minute play and adopted for the Uganda audience.
Blood, a 30-minute tragedy tackles the struggle of black people to survive white supremacy both in the US and Africa while exposing white America’s hypocrisy through the journey of a white American “saviour journalist” forced to confront his own part in America’s racism when he travels to Africa to investigate the murder of a young gay black boy called Dan Male.
Blood aspires to share a slice of the African-American racism plight with the Ugandan audience.
Developed as part of 48 Hours in Harlem (2014), an annual project created and run by Harlem 9 in collaboration with the National Black Theatre in New York, US, Blood is Adong’s contemporary impression of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play Les Blancs.
Adong told The EastAfrican that after the premiere of Holy Maria and Blood in Zimbabwe and the US respectively, she also wanted Ugandans to experience the stories and that is why she brought them home.
“We have borrowed the festival format to have two 30-minute short plays run back-to-back because each is too short to have an independent theatre production,” Adong said of the format of presentation.