On a cold and rainy Thursday, I headed down 42nd Street towards the Lion Theatre. I was walking to see the off broadway play A Season in the Congo that was being produced by Rico Workshop Productions in celebration of the Congo’s 50th year of independence. Written in 1966 by Aime Cesaire, a French- Martinican poet, politician and novelist, the story follows Patrice Lumumba the first Prome Minister, in the year following the Democratic Republic of Congo’s independence of Belgian rule.
Using a mix of actual stock footage and pre-taped video images, the small cast is able to portray pivotal moments in the nation’s history. The audience is able to better understand the local sentiments of the nation during the change of hands and civil unrest within the nation due to outside influences. It also allows for greater use of a small stage and limited backdrop by incorporating digital performance with a live action play. The videos allow for a dance club to appear and for the cast members to be on a plane without ever changing the simple blank stage.
The show is a great opportunity for those unaware of the history of this nation, the story of Patrice Lumumba and all those interested in issues of colonization, imperialism, and African sovereignty, to gain additional knowledge and a visual image to match the story. Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen technical difficulty, the play was unable to go through to the final scene on Thursday while I was there. However, you can still catch it before it leaves New York on October 17, 2010.
For tickets and more information go to: Telecharge