This is a play that is well worth attending if you are in the Los Angeles area, running from early March for three weeks. We interviewed actress Gloria Huwiler sometime back and she has a starring role in this play.
Valley Song opens at the Electic Lodge Theatre on Friday March 4th and runs through March 20th. The play, directed by Patrick Ssenjovu, is presented by African Theatre company Sunchild productions and the Electric Lodge and will star Charles Parnell, Gloria Huwiler and Paulo de Sousa. Set in post apartheid South Africa, Athol Fugard’s compelling work is a soulful meditation on the country’s metamorphoses in the wake of the first democratic elections. A hauntingly beautiful play, Valley Song documents the evolving social landscape of South Africa, with a deep sensitivity to the day to day struggles and private dreams of its people.
The play is presented by Sunchild Productions, a theatre and film company dedicated to producing cinema and theatre based on themes from the African diaspora. Valley Song marks the first production by the company of a contemporary classic South African piece that holds a key place is the evolution of African theatre. Patrick Ssenjovu, directing the show has worked extensively in theatre performing throughout Europe and the United States, in the award winning WOZA ALBERT! Later he joined the Great Jones Theatre Reparatory company and performed at La Mama, Lincoln Center, Ohio theatre and St Anne’s Warehouse
The cast brings together Gloria Huwiler, Charles Parnell and Paulo de Sousa. Gloria Huwiler, a Zambian native, studied at Oxford School of Drama and Brown University, and most recently performed in the Bessie award winning show Pent up: A Revenge Dance with Okwui Okpowasili at PS 122 in New York. Charles Parnell was last seen on stage in JT Rogers The Overwehlming at the Roundabout Theatre in New York. His extensive film, theatre and television include starring in Dee Rees Sundance award winning film Pariah soon to be released by Focus Features. Paulo de Sousa, grew up in Africa and has worked in theatre in New York and Los Angeles. His recent credits include the award wining film Red Cockroaches, and television show Hope and Faith.
While the original production of Valley Song embodied the zeitgeist of post apartheid South Africa, the play is extremely timely. Indeed the spirit of the time might be juxtaposed with a post Obama America; an era fostered in by a youth eager for change, and the struggle to realize a concept as intangible as hope. Valley Song will hold its opening night on March 4th at the Electic Lodge Theatre in Venice. The show will run till March 20th. 8 pm shows Thursday through Saturday and 2 pm Matinees on Sunday.