New Theater Work Explores Modern Revolutions | Program Notes

New Theater Work Explores Modern Revolutions

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This Friday and Saturday, see a work-in progress showing of Wade in the Water, by veteran film and theater performer Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe and Haitian-American composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain.

Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe
  • Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe

Wade in the Water, developed during an artist residency at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, is a multimedia performance that “explores modern-day revolutions through the lens of the ancient ceremony Kuomboka on the Bartose Floodplain, where the annual flood forces the population to higher ground.”

According to a press release, “Set in dreamtime, the tale spans more than 100 years and explores the relationship between Siyolwe and her great-great grandfather, King Lewanika of Barotseland. Siyolwe plays the heroine Princess Water, who is guided by the elements Fire, Air, Earth, and Metal on her journey to understand the rich history of Barotseland.”

Siyolwe, who was born in Zambia, has had a distinguished career in film and on stages in the U.K. and elsewhere, including a role in the Denzel Washington film Cry Freedom.

Daniel Bernard Roumain
  • Daniel Bernard Roumain

The Haitian-American Roumain’s contribution to Wade, meanwhile, “blend[s] the ancient music of Kuomboka with non-traditional hip-hop and classical music."

Other collaborators on the project include nationally known artist, producer, and entrepreneur Chen Lo and Pittsburgh-based vocalist and teaching artist Anqwenique Wingfield.

Wade in the Water runs 45 minutes. Performances are at 8 p.m. nightly this Friday and Saturday, at the Alloy Studios, at 5530 Penn Ave., in Friendship.

Tickets are $10-15 and are available here.

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