Past Event

International Play Reading Festival: 'The Dark'

October 13, 2021
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
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The Dark 

Wednesday, October 13, 6:30 pm ET
Podcast Release and Listening Party

To hear The Dark, subscribe to the International Play Reading Festival wherever you get your podcasts.

Written by Nick Makoha (United Kingdom)
Directed by NJ Agwuna '18
Sound Design by Caroline Eng
Dialect Coaching by Irungu Mutu

In the heat of a November night in 1978, after eight years of civil war, four-year-old Nick and his mother flee their homeland of Uganda. What unfolds is a story of those who find themselves exiled, told through a series of voices echoing from varying states of darkness. 


Petrina Ampeire as Joyce (rebel radio) and Ouma (boy soldier)
Robert K Benson as Mr. Fairfax and Customs Officer
Shadrack Boakye as Soldier, Shopkeeper, and Baba Nick
Shiro Kihagi as Mama Nick
Cici Koueth as Mirembe
Julia Kwamya as Fatima and Camera Woman
Irungu Mutu as Narrator Nick & Young Nick
Chris Okawa as Ocheng, Opio, and Kigo
James Okungu as Old Man, Radio Uganda, Sergeant 853, and Kimathi

Nick Makoha

Nick Makoha is a Ugandan poet and playwright based in London and founder of Obsidian Foundation. His debut collection, Kingdom of Gravity, was shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. He was the 2019 Writer-in-Residence for the Wordsworth Trust and Wasafiri. He is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and Complete Works Alumni. He won the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry prize and is the 2016 winner of the Toi Derricotte &  Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. His poems appeared in the New York TimesPoetry ReviewRialtoPoetry LondonTriquarterly ReviewBoston ReviewCallaloo, and Wasafiri. He is a Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Goldsmiths. He is a Trustee for the Arvon Foundation and The Ministry of Stories and a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective. His play The Darkproduced by Fuel Theatre and directed by JMK award-winner Roy Alexander—was on a national tour in 2019 and shortlisted for the 2019 Alfred Fagon Award.

NJ Agwuna

NJ Agwuna is a freelance director of stage and screen, as well as an inspired voice talent from central Maryland. She approaches theatre with curiosity and wonder, believing that theatre can not only heal us, but show us all the possibilities of the world that we inhabit. She has worked on a national and international scale exploring classic text, developing new plays, devising theatrical experiences through myth and spectacle, and investigating new ways to explore trauma and mental illness through theatre. Selected Credits: The Magic Flute (Glimmerglass Festival), The Woman’s Party (Clubbed Thumb, AD), Polaroid Stories (LIU Post), Till: A Musical (won Best Direction), The Lover (DirectorFest 2020), Blanks (JAG Fest, Fire This Time Festival), Lysistrata (The New School of Drama), The Tempest (Lenfest), Freedom Train (TWUSA National Tour '18, '19), Endangered: the Eco Musical (AD), and What She Found (won Best Drama at FRIGID). She is a Drama League alumna, an associate writer and teaching artist with Tectonic, and Adjunct Professor of Directing at Laguardia Community College. Directing MFA: Columbia University; SDC- associate