«A big-hearted Williams one-act about love and heroism, staged with West African flair in a performance full of vibrant song and dance, perfectly suited to the outdoor marketplace.»
2221 Carpenter, Detroit MI
Sunday, September 17 at 2pm
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The University of Michigan Center for World Performance Studies (CWPS) partners with CMAP to present the National Theatre of Ghana, in an open air performance of 10 Blocks on the Camino Real, written by Tennessee Williams. In this one-act play, song, dialogue and dance are used to tell the story of how the American hero Kilroy enters the pantheon of heroes by losing his innocence. The plaza of Ten Blocks on the Camino Real is a crossroads of world theater, drawing on Williams’ experiences in Mexico, and inspired by German theater, Chinese opera and commedia del’arte. Ghana is the source and setting for this new production, directed by David Kaplan, curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. While the spoken English text is performed as written by Williams, Spanish songs and Spanish words have been translated to Ghanaian songs and Ghanaian languages. Don Quixote has become Okomfo Okokye, the founder of the Ashanti line of kings, who finds his sidekick, Osei-tutu. Other Spanish details are exchanged for Ghanaian specifics: pesos for pesewas, fiesta for jubilee. The presiding musician plays two blue djembe drums, rather than a blue guitar.
Established in 1983 at the University of Ghana at Legon, the professional theater company once known as “Abibigromma” became the resident troupe of the National Theatre of Ghana in 1991. The focus of the company is to develop a rich blend of music, dance, mime, movement, and dialogue with a strong social, spiritual and folkloric base.
CWPS aims to recreate the atmosphere of the Ghanaian outdoor productions here in Michigan, staging performances in four outdoor venues through the week. Other performances include:
Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market
315 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor MI
Wednesday, September 13 at 12pm
University of Michigan
Friday, September 15 at 12pm
Ypsilanti Farmers Market Depot Town
100 Rice Street, Ypsilanti MI
Saturday, September 16 at 11am
All performances are free and open to the public.