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Mlima's Tale, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Wesport Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Jermaine Rowe Mlima's Tale written by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage and directed by Mark Lamos at the Westport Country Playhouse located in Westport, Connecticut is a spellbinding and breathtakingly intense dramatic play that will have you on the edge of your seats watching it unfold. The play is a shocking social and cultural look at the ivory tusk trade and illegal trafficking told through the eyes of Mlima, a middle-aged elephant in Kenya, that will not only touch you, but will leave an indelible mark in your heart. Mlima's Tale runs until October 19,2019 and is a dramatic "must-see."

 

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Jermaine Rowe
Mlima's Tale
Jermaine Rowe (Mlima)

With every play, it is not only the playwright's words and the theme, as well as the director's interpretation that glues patrons to the edges of their seats, it is also the actors, whose talents involve the ability to transport the audience into accepting them as the characters in the playwright's vision.  

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Jermaine Rowe, Jennean Farmer, Carl Hendrick Louis
Mlima's Tale
Jermaine Rowe (Mlima), Jennean Farmer (Player 1),
Carl Hendrick Louis (Player 3)

For Mlima's Tale, it required that the actor Jermaine Rowe visually transport the audience from seeing him as a man, to envisioning him as Mlima, a well-loved middle-aged elephant living in a national reserve park in Kenya, who is hunted for his massive ivory tusks. We had seen Jermaine Rowe previously in the WCP's production of Man of La Mancha and were impressed with his talent to take on and adapt to a multitude of roles, whether appearing on Broadway, in regional productions, or in films, this dynamic actor is one to watch. His interpretation of Mlima was inspirational, poignant, and transcendental.  

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Adit Dileep, Carl Hendrick Louis
Mlima's Tale
Adit Dileep (Player 2), Carl Hendrick Louis (Player 3)

Mark Lamos' direction and the staging of Lynn Nottage's play was brilliant with Jeremy Rowe as Mlima and three additional talented actors, Adit Dileep (whose credentials include theater, film, and television), Jennean Farmer (theater, regional, film, and television), and Carl Hendrick Louis (Broadway, regional, and film, and television) playing a multitude of roles that take the audience on a journey that involves the illegal poaching and trafficking of highly-prized and greatly coveted elephant tusks. From Kenya to Vietnam and China, the play pits the pros of financial gain by those involved against the cons of the illegality and moral issues involved in the sale as well as the purchase of ivory tusks.  

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Jermaine Rowe, Carl Hendrick Louis, Adit Dileep
Mlima's Tale
Carl Hendrick Louis (Player 3), Adit Dileep (Player 2),
Jermaine Rowe (Mlima)

Mlima's Tale is a play that at times is hard to watch as it is so compelling and intense, yet the story is so movingly and beautifully told, the magnetic pull to keep watching it is too strong to turnaway even for a moment, for fear of what you may miss. At the completion of the play when the stage went dark, it seemed like the audience let out a collective sigh, a communal letting out of breath, after holding it for so long. The actors deserved and received a resounding standing ovation for their inspired work.

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Jennean Farmer, Carl Hendrick Louis
Mlima's Tale
Jennean Farmer (Player 1), Carl Hendrick Louis (Player 3)

Mlima's Tale is a compelling story that must be seen, and the Westport Country Playhouse is the perfect venue for Lynn Nottage's dynamic social impact play that will linger in your mind long after you leave the theater. In 1800, it was estimated that 26 million elephants roamed the African continent. By 1976, the African elephant population was estimated at 1.3 million. By the late 1980s, it fell even further to 600,000. By 1998, due to laws and bans, the elephant population was estimated at 1 million. In 2018, "A World Wildlife Fund reported that elephant population was on the rise but poaching persists and researchers warned that current levels are still unsustainable for maintaining an elephant population in Africa."  

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Jennean Farmer, Carl Hendrick Louis
Mlima's Tale
Jennean Farmer (Player 1), Carl Hendrick Louis (Player 3)

As we saw the play on opening night, Saturday, October 5, 2019, there was a reception after the performance where the audience had the opportunity to meet with the actors creating engaging dialogue and continuing the thrill of the live theatre experience.  

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Carl Hendrick Louis, Adit Dileep
Mlima's Tale
Carl Hendrick Louis (Player 3), Adit Dileep (Player 2)

The play run time is 80 minutes and is performed without an intermission.  

Until next time, keep enjoying and supporting the arts! 

Cast:

Adit Dileep

Player 2

Jennean Farmer

Player 1

Carl Hendrick Louis

Player 3

Jermaine Rowe

Mlima 

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Jermaine Rowe, Carl Hendrick Louis, Adit Dileep
Mlima's Tale
Jermaine Rowe (Mlima), Carl Hendrick Louis (Player 3),
Adit Dileep (Player 2)

The Creative Team:

Chris De Camillis

Production Stage Manager

Claire DeLiso

Set Design

Fabian Fidel Aguilar

Costume Design

Isabella Byrd

Lighting Design

Jeffrey Page

Choreography

Julie Fof

Dialect Coach

Lynn Nottage

Playwright

Mark Lamos

Director/Artistic Director

Michael Barker

Managing Director

Michael Keck

Composer

Michael Rossmy

Fight Director/Intimacy Coach

Page Tazewell

Assistant Stage Manager

Samantha Shoffner

Props Supervisor

Tara Rubin Casting

Casting

Yana Bir˙kova

Projection Design 

Westport Country Playhouse - Mlima's Tale - Jermaine Rowe
Mlima's Tale
Jermaine Rowe (Mlima)

About the Westport Country Playhouse

The Westport Country Playhouse Box Office is open during Performance Days Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 8:30 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am until 8:30 pm, Sunday from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, and is closed on Monday. Non-Performance Days, the Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 6:00 pm and is closed on Monday.    

The Westport Country Playhouse named as "Theatre Company of the Year" in December 2013 by The Wall Street Journal, opened in the 1930s in a transformed 1835 cow barn, which has, and continues to attract, a "who's who" of prominent actors. Looking at the framed posters of past shows that line the lobby walls was like entering an encyclopedia of the arts. A few of the many renowned actors who have appeared on the stage there include Ethyl Barrymore, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Tallulah Bankhead, Gloria Swanson, Don Ameche, Hume Cronin and Jessica Tandy, Jane Fonda, Danny Aiello, Blythe Danner, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Dreyfus, Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Lynn Redgrave, Gene Wilder, and Westport residents Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.    

"Westport Country Playhouse, a not-for-profit theater, serves as a cultural nexus for patrons, artists and students and is a treasured resource for the State of Connecticut. There are no boundaries to the creative thinking for future seasons or the kinds of audiences and excitement for theater that Westport Country Playhouse can build."     

Mlima's Tale performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00 pm, Wednesday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 3:00 pm. Special series feature Taste of Tuesday, LGBT Night OUT, Opening Night, Sunday Symposium, Open Captions, Thursday TalkBack, Together at the Table Family Dinner, Playhouse Happy Hour, and Backstage Pass. 

For information on the play or to purchase tickets, please call the box office at +1-203-227-4177 or call the toll-free number at 1-888-927-7529 or visit them on the website at www.WestportPlayhouse.org. 

Upcoming Performances - 2019 and 2020 

Plays 2019 Season

Dates Running

Mlima's Tale

October 1 - 19, 2019

Don Juan

November 5 - 23, 2019

Next To Normal

April 14 - May 2, 2020

Tiny House

June 9 - 27, 2020

Ain't Misbehavin'

July 21 - August 8, 2020

Antigone

September 29 - October 17, 2020

Blues For An Alabama Sky

November 3 - 21, 2020 

Westport Country Playhouse - Westport, CT, USA

Westport Country Playhouse  
25 Powers Court
Westport, Connecticut 06880
United States
Box Office:       +1-203-227-4177
Toll-Free:         +1-888-927-7529
Fax:                  +1-203-454-3239
Box Office:       +1-203-227-4177
Website:           www.WestportPlayhouse.org
Instagram:       @wcplayhouse
Twitter:            @wcplayhouse 

Follow Westport Country Playhouse on Facebook at  www.Facebook.com/WestportCountryPlayhouse  

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© October 2019. LuxuryExperience www.LuxuryExperience.com.  All rights reserved.

 
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