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thoughts on Rwanda

Sam Ward, Director “…Young Lady from Rwanda”

There are some things you do because they stretch you and force you to grow and learn.  I get so much satisfaction out of directing at our church, but there are some shows that just don’t fit with what we’re trying to accomplish, and my job is to be a servant artist.  But there are still times I want to do other things…to branch out and try something artistically new.

So when all-for-One Productions asked me to direct, I jumped at the chance.

I HAVE BEFORE ME A REMARKABLE DOCUMENT GIVEN TO ME BY A YOUNG LADY FROM RWANDA tells the story of a Rwandan refugee who survives the genocide in Rwanda.  Arriving in London, she then tries to come to terms with her past by writing a book.  Her life has been torn from her making everything colorless and grey.  At a refugee center, she meets Simon, a washed-up poet and writer, who is there to make some money on the side. 

Now you’re probably thinking this sounds depressing, right?  But as these two broken people from different cultures get to know each other, her honesty and his naivete create hilarious situations.  Whatever your background, you will laugh as  Simon, is shown to be rather oblivious by the curious Juliette.  Haven’t we all seen that in our own lives?  When a child asks the obvious question and we don’t know how to answer except to laugh?  When a buffoon is unable to get out of a sticky situation, but keeps talking anyway?

Sonja Linden wrote this piece because she knew women who were trying to remake their lives after surviving horrific atrocities.  She related to them because her family had survived the Holocaust in Germany.  Linden wanted to make sure we learn from history and work to prevent further genocide of any people group.  To be honest, I was a little naive myself and have had my eyes opened.  Reading the newspaper this past year, it is easy to see that genocide is still happening in Africa.  Through this story, I hope all of us have our eyes opened and begin to ask the question:  when someone else is hurting, who should step forward to help?  Should it be me?


Here are some links to articles relating to Rwanda and the conflict that is still going on in that area.
Jan 23, 09 – “A Congolese Rebel Leader Who Once Seemed Untouchable Is Caught” 

Dec 18, 08 – “Rwandan Officer Found Guilty of 1994 Genocide ”



One comment on “thoughts on Rwanda

  1. Thanks, Sam, for directing this play! We commented on the way home after the Sunday performance that it must be a unique director experience to work with a cast of two–so intimate, almost like tutoring. I have seldom been to a theater production that has moved me so. Sitting in the audience, it felt that this play had touched a nerve. The laughter was relieved, but hesitant–so much pain…I need to laugh or I will cry, but should I laugh?…that sort of thing.

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