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“In Kilwa Waiting”

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Waller, Leon (American playwright, museum educator, artist, librettist, July 6, 1949-____), and Stephen Cronin (Australian composer, 1960-____), “In Kilwa Waiting,”

a 45-minute chamber opera drama in three scenes in English, set in Kilwa, on the East African Coast, on the eve of the bombardment and fall of the City of Kilwat, 17th Century,

3m (+ m extra)

; • © 2002 by Leon Waller and Stephen Cronin; • in Leon Waller and Stephen Cronin’s In Kilwa Waiting (New York: The Authors, 2002); • script/rights available from Leon Waller, 121 East 10th Street #4C, New York, New York 10003, U.S.A., e-mail lwaller@brooklynkids.org, telephone (home) 212-228-8402, extension 3. • Cited by Leon Waller via ftp August 5, 12, 2004; Waller says,

§ Dramatis Personae _____ (m), a young Portuguese sailor; _____ (m), a wealthy African merchant; _____ (m), a captain of a Chinese fleet; _____ (m extra), _____.

§ Synopsis “A few years prior to the eve of the bombardment and fall of the city of Kilwa, on the East African Coast, a young Portuguese sailor sick from a probably terminal tropical illness was eft behind in this by his captain. The captain instructed the sailor, should he recover, to spy for the Portuguese and promised that the fleet would return at some point to retrieve him and capture this great African port city that could rival Lisbon with trading connections as far-flung as China. However, the personal conflicts with the political when the young sailor falls in love with the city and its people. He discovers that he is no longer a willing military servant but a man who faces a hard choice between loyalty to Lisbon and friendship and love for Kilwa.

§ Comment “An African myth within this drama features the same actors joined by one additional person to recount the tale. This work is called an opera because of the musical nature of the language. It was written as much for singers as actors. The director can stage it as a sung or spoken drama. In the latter instance, actors should honor the poetic and musical quality of the words.”

§ Themes 17th Century, Africa, African mythology, East African coast, espionage, friendship, history, love, opera, poetry, Portuguese history, rescue, sailing, sea trade, song, survival.

See also Leon Waller and Stephen Cronin's

  • "Storm Light," a 45-minute chamber opera drama in three scenes in English, set in the mythical West African Yoruba Kingdom, just before dawn, mythical past, 2m1f

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Page mounted September 18, 2004, by the Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


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