Arts News

Guma Mbaho Mwine responds to rampant homophobia gripping Uganda with new works

By April MacIntyre May 15, 2012, 8:38 GMT

Guma Mbaho Mwine responds to rampant homophobia gripping Uganda with new works

Co-directed by Emily Hoffman, A Missionary Position is Mwine\'s searing response to the rampant homophobia now gripping Uganda.

Noted Hollywood actor and photographer Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Blood Diamond; Treme; Heroes; CSI) debuts his newest solo work, A Missionary Position, this summer at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) Thursday, June 28 through Sunday, July 1, 201.

Co-directed by Emily Hoffman, A Missionary Position is Mwine's searing response to the rampant homophobia now gripping Uganda.

From the press release:

 

As recently as February 28, 2012, The New York Times ran a story titled "Resentment Toward the West Bolsters Uganda's New Anti-Gay Bill," reporting that what began when "a Ugandan lawmaker introduced a bill that carried the death penalty for a 'serial offender' of the 'offense of homosexuality'" has resulted in a strong backlash from both sides of the issue and the reintroduction of the bill in Parliament earlier that month to rounds of applause.

 

A first-generation Ugandan American with personal relationships and ties to Uganda, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine has been engrossed in on-the-ground research and documentation there throughout the past year.

Interviewing and meeting with leading figures on many sides of the issue over recent months, Mwine has gathered and shot video footage and still photographs from the front lines of the African nation's LGBT movement.

 

The resulting solo show layers this documentary material with riveting portrayals of the LGBT community as seen through the eyes of a Ugandan government official, a transgender sex worker, a gay priest and a lesbian activist drawn from the in-person interviews to create a complex investigation of the burgeoning resistance to state-supported oppression—and more hopefully, the countering forces of a growing gay rights movement—currently unfolding in Uganda.

Mwine is no stranger to diving into the profound and sometimes violent forces currently at work in Uganda to create powerful works of theater that share its citizen's vital stories with audiences around the world.

Biro, Mwine's internationally heralded one-man show about the eponymous HIV-positive Ugandan who illegally entered the United States to seek treatment, had its world premiere at Uganda's National Theatre in 2003 and subsequently toured to London, New York at The Joseph Papp Public Theatre where it made the "New York Times critics pick list," before premiering in Los Angeles, Seattle, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Toronto.

Click here to view a gallery of photography from Mwine's time in Uganda:

Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine received his Masters Degree of Fine Arts in Acting from New York University and completed studies at The Moscow Arts Theatre in Russia, The Royal National Theatre in London and The University of Virginia.

An accomplished photographer and writer, Mwine's photographic work has been featured in Vanity Fair, on HBO's television series Six Feet Under and also exhibited at The United Nations, the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, The Latino Art Museum, Rush Arts Gallery and Museum Africa in Johannesburg to name a few.

Mwine's first effort as a playwright is Biro, a multi-media solo performance piece, which held its World Premiere at Uganda's National Theatre and subsequently premiered in London, then in New York at The Joseph Papp Public Theatre where it made the "New York Times critics pick list." The production has since premiered in Los Angeles, Seattle, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Toronto. Mwine's other acting credits include leading roles at The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Lincoln Center, ACT, The Long Wharf Theatre and the National Tour of Six Degrees of Separation for which he received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Actor.

Mwine's first effort as filmmaker is a documentary entitled Beware Of Time. The film received its first broadcast in Uganda and subsequently screened at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Black International Cinema in Berlin where it was selected as Best film on matters relating to Marginalized People. 

TICKETING & VENUE INFORMATION

Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine: A Missionary Position

Thursday, June 28 to Saturday, June 30 at 8:30 pm

Sunday, July 1 at 7:00 pm

Tickets: $20-25 general ($16-20 students)

Seating is general admission and tickets are available for purchase in-person at REDCAT Box Office, by phone at 213-237-2800, or online at redcat.org.

REDCAT | Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater

631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

REDCAT is located at the corner of W. 2nd and Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.



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