As I walk into the wide Mamlaka Hills Chapel gates, upstairs to the upper floors, past tons of memories from earlier this year when this was my rehearsals grounds for a couple of weeks, a melodious tune quickly captures my attention. It is Dr Julisa Rowe rehearsing for her upcoming one-woman musical, Carnival Girl.
Originally titled Night Watch, Carnival Girl is the story of a girl trying to find her identity until her father reveals it to her and takes her home, a parable about where we find our belonging in God the father. Dr Rowe acquired the rights to Night Watch, originally a five-character play that was later narrowed down to a one-woman musical that she performed in the United States for ten years and once at the Michael Joseph Centre in Nairobi, in 2017.
I think it’s the aspect of having our belonging in the heart of God and seeing the father part of Him, I think that’s what’s driving me to do it again now when it’s even more of an issue to people today and we have so much polarisation and bitterness and anger about Christianity, about God.”
She says, noting that we live in a world of many dysfunctional families and people damaged by their fathers.
They take that and transport it to their understanding of God, which is unfortunate because that’s not who God is. He is a God who is not judging or distant, he is a loving God, he is Abba Father.”
The theatre scholar and performer expounds.
Carnival Girl also seeks to showcase the importance of family, that traditionally, family will always be there for you, even in dysfunction, and the ideal of being in God’s family. The play is a family-friendly, heart-warming, touching yet fun performance delivered by an experienced hand. As with previous shows from Chemichemi Players, it seeks to give a scriptural worldview that speaks to a larger audience.
Dr Julisa Rowe has been acting and directing across the world for over three decades, mostly in the United States and in Kenya. She holds a B.A in Drama from Westmont College, an MA in Intercultural Ministries and a Doctorate in Ethnodramatology (study of different cultural drama forms). Julisa is a published author and has served as a professor, consultant, mentor, performer, director and taught theatre at Daystar University for 11 years.
Carnival Girl will be in theatre from August 4 through to August 6, at 157 James Gichuru Road. Fanya Hima, Nyakua Tikiti Yako SASA HIVI via the Link https://MadFun.com/event/33
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Edited by @peterndoria