Two Plays by Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko '10 Opening this Season
February 5, 2018
Two plays by alumnus Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko '10 are coming to TheatreF1RST this season: S.T.A.R: A Story of Marsha P. Johnson, playing from February 18th to March 10th, and Waafrika 123, playing from May 6th until June 8th. Theatre F1RST is an in-house development company located in Berkeley, California and it "seeks to revolutionize the intersection of audience, artist, and activism to explore how best to lift and amplify marginalized stories."
S.T.A.R is part of TheatreF1RST's program Between Us, a series of eight solo plays split into two presentations in repertory. The play tells the story of Marsha P. Johnson, an African-American transgender woman who was an LGBTQ rights activist and an outspoken advocate for trans people of color. She was tragically murdered on July 6, 1992. Waafrika 123 is a three-part trilogy set in rural Kenya, “it features an interracial relationship between a blond queer lesbian American woman formerly with the Peace Corps and a preoperative queer named Awino from the local Luo tribe,” according to the play description. Waafrika 123 explores the themes of gender, genital mutilation and rape and was published in 2016 by UnCUT/Voices Press and remounted twice with Thinking Cap Productions.
In a recent interview for Lambda Literary, a leading LBGTQ publication, Nick talked about his inspiration for Waafrika 123: "female genital mutilation is done on a girl to make her a woman, what happens when it’s done to someone who doesn’t identify as a girl? Is he/they a woman because the tribe says so or not because they say so? Is it ineffective, transformative, cementing? Is the damage done through rape more accented on a lesbian? What about the union between the raped lesbian and queer body that has experienced female genital mutilation? How will they transform the world’s cruelties into magic?—a monument to qtpoc survival and testament to our lasting existence."
Nick was born in Tanzania and raised mostly in neighbouring Kenya plus other East and central African countries. Nick worked for Reuters News Agency’s regional headquarters in Nairobi, where he wrote feature stories for thirteen different countries, including the Indian Ocean islands. According to his bio, those stories grew into valuable source material for fiction. Nick has had residencies in the Time Warner’s Emerging Writers’ Group (EWG) and at The Public Theater and at Thinking Cap Theater. Other plays include Asymmetrical We, Blueprint for a Lesbian Planet, Queering Macbeth, Brotherly Love, Trailer Park Tundra, Once A Man Always A Man, Mama Afrika, Mwena Mweni, and Cop.