By Stephanie Liss
August 17 to September 10, 2017
Genesis Theatrical Productions presents the world premiere drama Sister Africa – about efforts to aid female and child victims of the Congo’s ongoing civil war.
Television writer and playwright Stephanie Liss has never shied away from controversial or complicated stories. Liss’ play draws from her own experiences travelling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with members of Jewish World Watch, an activist organization dedicated to ending genocide and mass atrocities worldwide and to providing support and building resilience to those living in conflict-affected communities.
The play is based on hundreds of hours of interviews – not only with the victims of rape and torture, but with child soldiers, the staff of Jewish World Watch, and its co-founder and president, Janice Kamenir Reznik. It is a play about two peoples, Jews and Congolese, who have lived through unspeakable horrors and how they can help to heal each other. Sister Africa will include an original incidental score by composer and recording artist RebbeSoul, known as a pioneer of contemporary Jewish music.
Appearing as the Rabbi will be Jimmy Binns. Melissa Nelson will play the strong and determined Miriam – a composite of Liss and Janice Reznick through the September 3 performance. Hillary Hensler will take over the role for the final weekend (September 7-10). Takesha Meshe Kizart as Mama Jette, a composite of women Liss met in conflicted areas of the Congo. Christopher McClellan will play Cesar, a Congolese teenage soldier. Ahmed Brooks appears as Amani, a Congolese man helping to heal the boy soldiers.
Sister Africa will be performed in the Athenaeum Theatre’s Studio One – 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago, from August 17 through September 10, 2017. Tickets are $32.00, or $17.00 for seniors and students; and are on sale now through the Athenaeum Theatre Box Office, by phone at 773-935-6860.