Play touches on women and AIDS

By Tins Magaba
HARARE - We live in a world where all people, despite their geographical location, are connected by a thread that defines humanity as one. Two young women, Zimbabwean born Danai Gurira and her American counterpart Nikkole Salter met at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts

, combined their theatrical genius to form a prized duo that has won many hearts with their debut production, In the Continuum.
In the Continuum is a powerful tale of two women separated by the seas and living in different continents and yet affected by the same problems and probably hurting the same way too. The cities could be the metropolis of Harare or Los Angeles but the HIV/AIDS pandemic is a world wide disaster that shatters boundaries and spaces and colour and nationality. HIV/AIDS is a universal scourge affecting all. The stories of Nia (Salter) and Abigail (Gurira) have a striking similarity. The women never meet, they don’t even know each other and yet they are living the same life. The play dispels the global myth that HIV/AIDS is a Third World disease but affects everyone including those in the world’s super power country, USA.
It is also a shame that the most affected group by the mostly sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS disease is women, and yet it is the same women who are expected to take the labouring role of family up-keep. Women are universally afflicted with the same problems due to their gender.
An off-Broadway hit that has received a catalogue of rave reviews from a highly regarded American artistic community, In the Continuum, was transposed to Africa courtesy of a generous Bloomberg grant and staged at Harare’s première arts event, HIFA. The two shows were sold out and drew a packed audience. Many wept throughout the performance. It is a story of searing pain and burning emotions yet rendered with an amazing sense of humour.
The two actresses facilitated various workshops in their Harare visit as part of HIFA’s outreach mission, which is to encourage more township youth to take the arts as a serious livelihood. The workshops were held in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza at the Young Africa Centre and other community venues. An overwhelmingly crowd of young people participated.
From Harare, the duo of Gurira and Salter headed down south, where In the Continuum was taken to the Market Theatre in Egoli, Johannesburg. Attracting big audiences, the play was an instant success. Basking in their glory and stardom, Gurira and Salter will be embarking on a US tour starting in August at the Woolly Mammoth in Washington DC.

Post published in: Arts

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