Four Rwandan artists have been chosen for the Sundance Institute East Africa Theatre Lab. Odile Gakire “Kiki” Katese, Ruzibiza Wesley, Samuel Kamanzi, and Mutangana Moise are the four artists.
The artists were chosen for ‘The Book of Life’, a book formed from a collection of letters written by widows of the 1994 Tutsi Genocide to their loved ones.
The project transcends space and time. It illustrates their desire to reconnect with the dead so as to go past the pain—and find healing, joy, love, and celebrate life.
Brooks Addicott, who heads the press office for Sundance Institute, lauded two other Rwandan artists, Carole Karemera and Gakire Katese, saying that the duo have served as valued advisors to Sundance Institute East Africa since their visits to the Theatre Lab in Utah and during Sundance Institute visits to East Africa.
Sundance Institute East Africa supports the work of theatre artists in East Africa, by creating an exchange, exposure and opportunities between Sundance Institute Theatre Lab participants, U.S. artists and East African writers, directors, and performers.
In a statement, Addicott said that it is the goal and practice of Sundance Institute East Africa to explore and invest in the East African theatre community, as it does with the American theatre community.
One of the key components of the lab is creating a space where East African artists can spend time with each other.
The statement revealed that Sundance Institute East Africa is in the exploratory phase of a multi-year program supporting the work of theatre artists in East Africa, as well as an exchange program between Sundance Theatre Labs alumni and East African writers, director and performers.
A new program will take place in Kenya from July 9-29, featuring theatre and dance artists from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
The goal is to create a program in East Africa which reflects Sundance’s primary values: accessibility, mentorship, professionalism, advancement of the individual artistic voice, and rigorous artistic standards.
Sundance recognizes that the specific cultural, social, political and artistic realities of East African life be recognized and honoured in both the design and the implementation of the Sundance East Africa programs.
Meanwhile, an esteemed group of East African artists, all graduates of the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Utah, have been brought on board as primary in-country consultants in the planning and implementation of the program, along with American theatre artists committed to intercultural exchange with the region.