International Play Reading Festival: Playwright Panel Discussion
Saturday, October 23, 12:00 pm ET
Live on Zoom
Playwrights Asiimwe Deborah Kawe (Uganda), Nick Makoha (England), and Dima Mikhayel Matta (Lebanon), in conversation with Columbia University School of the Arts International Play Reading Festival Co-Founder David Henry Hwang, Theatre Program.
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Asiimwe Deborah Kawe (Appointment with gOD) was born in Kiruhura, in Southwestern Uganda. She is an award-winning playwright, producer, and performer. She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Tebere Arts Foundation and co-Artistic Director of the Kampala International Theatre Festival. Kawe has worked with the Sundance Institute Theatre Program. There, dividing her time between New York City and East Africa, she led the East Africa initiative, a program that covered the countries of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda for six years. Kawe received a Diploma in Music, Dance and Drama, and a BA in Theatre and Performing Arts from Makerere University in Kampala-Uganda, and an MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts. Ms. Kawe’s recent plays include Red Hills, Forgotten World, Cooking Oil, Appointment with gOD, Un-entitled, Do they Know it’s Khristmas?, to mention but a few. Her radio play, Will Smith Look Alike, won an award with the BBC World Service African Performance playwriting competition. Asiimwe has been a writing fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, and a guest artist at Pomona College and New York University in Abu Dhabi. For more about Asiimwe’s work, visit the following websites:
Nick Makoha (The Dark) 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 Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, 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 Dark—produced 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.
Dima Mikhayel Matta (This is not a memorized script; this is a well-rehearsed story) is a Beirut-based writer and actress. Matta, a Fulbright scholar, holds an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers University. They have been acting for the stage since 2006. In 2014, they founded Cliffhangers, the first bilingual storytelling platform in Lebanon, and host monthly storytelling events along with parallel events such as storytelling workshops and performances. They also co-produce festivals and workshops that center on Arab theatre, highlighting women and LGBTQIA voices. These include “Arab Voices: Stories of Palestine,” and “Women Theatremakers: Playwriting Workshop.” Their first play, This is not a memorized script, this is a well-rehearsed story, an autobiographical play on queerness and their relationship with the city toured in London, New York, and Belfast, and premiered in Beirut in February 2020. They are currently working on their second play, An Uncurated World, about queer intimate partner violence.
David Henry Hwang’s stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the most-produced living American opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with the late pop icon Prince, and worked from 2015-2019 as a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair. He is currently writing the live-action musical feature film The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Disney Studios and a movie to star actress Gemma Chan. Hwang serves on the Board of the Lark Play Development Center, as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts, and as Chair of the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. M. Butterfly recently returned to Broadway in a revival directed by Julie Taymor, which marked Mr. Hwang’s eighth Broadway production. His newest work, Soft Power, a collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), premiered at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre, where it won six Ovation Awards. Its subsequent run at the Public Theatre in NYC received four Outer Critics Honors, eleven Drama Desk Nominations, and was a Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
Event Time & Date
|Date:||Sat October 23, 2021|
|Location:||Live on Zoom|