Reviewed by Paula Citron
World Stage/Isôko Theatre Rwanda
Written by Colleen Wagner (performed in Kinyarwanda)
Directed by Jennifer H. Capraru
Performed by Jean Paul Uwayezuk, Jaqueline Umubyeyi, Solange Liza Umuhire and Ruth Nirere
Apr. 27 to May 1, 2011
Toronto director Jennifer Capraru first went to Rwanda in 2006 to work on the film Shake Hands With the Devil. She stayed in the country to develop theatre and theatre artists.
World Stage is presenting Isôko Theatre Rwanda’s production of Colleen Wagner’s award-winning 1995 play The Monument, directed, produced and designed by Capraru. The performance is in Kinyarwanda with English surtitles. Sometimes there is a lot to read in one go, but the effort is worth the results.
Wagner’s play is about the rape and murder of women in the Balkan war, but it certainly has resonance in an African context. The main focus is about a woman who saves a war crimes prisoner from execution to take him on a harrowing journey in order to give voice to the silent victims.
The two leads, Jean Paul Uwayezuk and Jaqueline Umubyeyi, give powerful performances. Capraru’s direction in the round is a circle for harmony.
The Monument continues at Harbourfront’s Brigantine Room until May 1.