Illinois State University launches theatre season with Ugandan play-poetry hybrid Ga-AD!
The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance launches their fall production season with Ga-AD! by Adong Lucy Judith and Nambozo Beverley Nzengiyunva. Ga-AD! runs September 26-29 at 7:30 p.m. and September 29 and 30 at 2 p.m. in the Center for the Performing Arts Theatre on the campus of Illinois State University.
On Friday, September 14 at noon, there will be a free colloquium offered with playwright and director Adong Lucy Judith and on Wednesday, September 26, there will be a pre-show reception at 6 p.m. in the Center for the Performing Arts Lobby and a post-performance talkback also with Adong Lucy Judith.
Ga-AD! is part of an exciting community and cultural exchange with playwright Adong Lucy Judith, who has a six-week residency at Illinois State while directing her play. Adong comes to campus from Uganda, where she is the founder and artistic director of Silent Voices Uganda, a nonprofit performing arts company that ‘gives voice’ to social issues affecting underprivileged groups. As both a Fulbright Scholar and TED Fellow, Adong Judith creates art that provokes meaningful conversations about taboo issues.
Director Adong says, “I have always been disturbed by the very disadvantaged place of women in the church and spirituality. So, when Ugandan poet Beverley Nambozo shared a poem on Facebook in 2013, in which a pastor’s wife laments the pain of her husband telling her they have the miracle son they have been trying for, but through their maid, it was the perfect inspiration for me to tell this story.”
Ga-AD!, inspired by the poem The Loneliest Journey is the Journey of a Faithful Woman, is a play-poetry hybrid that explores the role of women in a Pentecostal church in modern-day Uganda. Faith, a loyal servant of God, has suffered a car accident and entered into the afterlife. Looking back, Faith questions her actions and her relationship with the charismatic and greedy Apostle Jeremiah.
Director Adong says, “And what perfect timing to be telling this story now in Illinois with the story of 301 priests involved in sexual abuse in Pennsylvania blowing up! No different from how Apostle Jeremiah abuses his power in Ga-AD!, even though the story is set in a Pentecostal Church in Kampala, Uganda. This speaks to the universality of the story and our human experiences. However, what is even more exciting for me is the diversity in the casting. The multiracial cast adds a richer, more powerful layer to the production, especially considering the universality of the issues in the play.”
This Crossroads Project production of Ga-AD! is co-sponsored by the Illinois State University Office of the President, the Harold K. Sage Foundation and ISU Foundation Fund, the Alice and Fannie Fell Trust Fund, the College of Fine Arts, and the School of Theatre and Dance. The Coalescence Theatre Project, with Artistic Director Don Shandrow, is a community partner in this production.
For tickets or more information, contact the Box Office, located in the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts, at (309) 438-2535, Monday–Friday from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., or purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Free performance parking is available in the School Street Parking Deck in spots 250 and above, at 400 W. Beaufort Street in Normal.