Silent Voices

Play Synopsis

Silent Voices is a powerful poignant war crimes story that mirrors the views and emotions of actual victims of the Northern Uganda war (which do relate in many ways to the victims of the Rwanda genocide and the Kenyan’s post-election violence). It explores how victims have been ignored in the constant calls to “forgive” and “reconcile” at the expense of justice. Through the protagonist, (Mother – a symbolic representation of life and death) Silent Voices examines what good citizens can be driven into by unhealthy policies.

Play Inspiration and Journey

As an Acholi woman born and raised in the region, Silent Voices Playwright ADONG Lucy Judith was one of the young people who walked every evening to spend the night at the infamous Gulu bus park referenced in the viral “KONY 2012” video. Adong attended the high school from which 44 girls were abducted by Joseph Kony and his LRA rebels in 1991 (Sacred Heart Girls Boarding School in Gulu). These horrifying events are deeply personal to her, and yet she was fortunate: due to miracle of a chance, she was able to leave war-ravaged Gulu for college and thereafter work in Kampala. As a result, she knew only the feeling of terror, but was not aware of the bitterness, betrayal and injustice that so many Acholi survivors feel towards local and national government leaders.

 

In 2006 Adong returned to Gulu and began to interview the men, women and children who survived Kony’s reign of terror. She visited rehabilitation centers for child soldiers in Gulu to study how theater was being used in the psychosocial therapy of the children who filled the ranks of Kony’s army, one of the largest child armies in human history. She also listened to the anger and frustration expressed by victims about the Amnesty Act, which they felt ‘rewarded’ perpetrators for confessing to often heinous crimes. So rather than write a research thesis that would gather dust on the shelves of Makerere University Library, she felt so strongly that these stories – these war-weary yet defiant voices – needed to be heard and witnessed by the world. This is why she wrote Silent Voices. The title isn’t a reference to the people of Northern Uganda, whose voices are powerful, raw and stunning. Rather, it speaks to the repressive silencing these victims feel that their government is forcing on them in the name of forgiveness.”

 

Developed at the Sundance Theater Lab 2010, Silent Voices had its world premiere at the National Theater of Uganda in 2012 funded by STICHTING DOEN (DOEN FOUNDATION). This production brought victims, political, religious and cultural leaders, members of the Amnesty Commission and transitional justice leaders together for critical, transformative conversations about the compensation of victims and the National Peace and Reconciliation Bill. For many in the Kampala audience, the atrocities in Gulu were unfamiliar and shocking. It was stunning to realize that so many in southern Uganda were oblivious to the horrors taking place in the north. The performance was a huge critical success, playing to sold-out audiences.

Creative Team

ADONG Lucy Judith

 

Playwright & Producer

DENNIS Hilton-Reid 

Director

SSEBAGGALA Andrew Jedidia

Co-Producer

Cast

KEMIYONDO Coutinho
KEMIYONDO Coutinho

as Mother

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OPOLOT Henry Opio
OPOLOT Henry Opio

as Guard 1 / Man

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KIYEGGA Andew
KIYEGGA Andew

as Guard 2 / Boss

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Masaaba Roger
Masaaba Roger

as CID / Mediator / LC5 / Judge

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LUSWATA Musa
LUSWATA Musa

as Juma / Journalist / MP / Court Clerk

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OYENBOT Gladys
OYENBOT Gladys

as Margret

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ACAYE Pamela
ACAYE Pamela

as Wife / Prosecutor

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TUWANGYE Richard
TUWANGYE Richard

as Husband

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MUSISI Nkakalukanyi Patrick
MUSISI Nkakalukanyi Patrick

as Omony

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WAWUYO Michael
WAWUYO Michael

as Bishop / Journalist / Mother's Lawyer

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CLARK Jabel
CLARK Jabel

Boy 1 aka Commmander Man / Kadogo Smiles

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KISALA Ross Dedi
KISALA Ross Dedi

as Kadogo Action / Boy 4

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SSERUNJOGI Abdul Lynus
SSERUNJOGI Abdul Lynus

as Kadogo Ninja / Boy 5

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UMBYEYI Alice
UMBYEYI Alice

as Girl 1

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NAKIRANDA Phyllis
NAKIRANDA Phyllis

as Fiona / Girl 2

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MIREMBRE Sasha
MIREMBRE Sasha

as Brenda / Girl 4

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NAKAYIMA Antonia
NAKAYIMA Antonia

as Scovia / Girl 3

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AIJUKA Alvin
AIJUKA Alvin

as Boy 3 aka Commander Danger Hatari

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OPIYO Webster
OPIYO Webster

as Boy 2 / Kadogo NoJoke

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AMESO Tabitah aka Biibo Tag
AMESO Tabitah aka Biibo Tag

as Dancer / Woman

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BABIRYE Sylvia
BABIRYE Sylvia

as Dancer / Bride

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BIRUNGI Justine
BIRUNGI Justine

as Dancer / Soldier 1 and 3

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BUKENYA Ronald
BUKENYA Ronald

as Dancer / Groom / Keyboardist

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KAFULUMA Peter
KAFULUMA Peter

as Dancer / Latigo

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KYEYUNE Francis
KYEYUNE Francis

as Dancer / Man 2

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NAMAGANDA Angella
NAMAGANDA Angella

as Dancer / Amaal

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SEMBATYA Edward
SEMBATYA Edward

as Dancer / Soldier 2

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TUMUHAIRE Derrick aka Hi Derrick
TUMUHAIRE Derrick aka Hi Derrick

as Dancer / Soldier 4

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KASAMBA Denis
KASAMBA Denis

as Dancer / Soldier 5

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Press & News

Crew

KAYA Kajimu
KAYA Kajimu

Stage Manager

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NABAASA Esther
NABAASA Esther

Music Composer / Director

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ABONGA Christopher
ABONGA Christopher

Instrumentalist

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KASAMBA Denis
KASAMBA Denis

Dance Choreographer

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WAWUYO Michael
WAWUYO Michael

Set, Props, Costumes, Hair and Make-Up Desiger

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KIBIRIGE Shakirah
KIBIRIGE Shakirah

Ass. Set, Props, Costumes, Hair and Make-Up Desiger

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SENKUMBA Adnan
SENKUMBA Adnan

Sound Designer

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KYABAGU John-Bosco
KYABAGU John-Bosco

Publicity and Marketing / Advocacy

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ORINGA Christopher
ORINGA Christopher

Advocacy Officer

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OCWEE Irene Trends
OCWEE Irene Trends

Community Liaison Officer

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WANDERA Annet
WANDERA Annet

Project Coordinator, Taibah International Schools

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AKELLO Gloria
AKELLO Gloria

P.A Writing / Children Welfare

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NANYANZI Bridget
NANYANZI Bridget

Children Welfare, Taibah International Schools

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KAYINZA Maureen
KAYINZA Maureen

Children Welfare , Taibah International Schools

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KADDU Fred Kirabira
KADDU Fred Kirabira

Driver , Taibah International Schools

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NSIME Sulieman
NSIME Sulieman

Driver, Alfajiri Productions Ltd

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PARTNERS