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Final remarks after student presentations Dec.9, 2021
Dr. George B. Seremba. Playwright, actor, scholar, committed to social justice
DRM331 Dramaturgy 1/ Fall 2020 GROUP PROJECTS
CREATIVE group projects
The focus of the final group projects was a dramaturgical, web-based investigation of "Come Good Rain", written by the Uganda-Canadian playwright, actor and theatre scholar Dr. George Bwanika Seremba. George visited the class twice and was also open to research inquiries by the students that further informed their projects. His play "Come Good Rain" is based on a real life event, when George was targeted for an execution as a student activist in the political turmoil of his home country Uganda. He miraculously, and with the help of gentle rain falling onto his tortured body, survived this botched execution in a forest known as a killing site. He was found by a child who alerted the villagers nearby. George survived with the help of this brave community and his audacious family's support. He later visited this village to thank them and this community then commissioned his play. This helped him to deal with his trauma and continue to do good things for good people.
A total six group projects were produced. Most of them were website-based knowledge projects, one was blog-based and one came in the form of an e-book.
In their projects students analyzed the play, proposed production scenarios and community outreach, and provided important context for student protest activities both in Uganda and Canada. In their conversations with George they learned that his grandfather had opened the first synagogue in Uganda, that the British colonial power planned to make Uganda - the Pearl of Africa - the site of the new state of Israel to re-locate European Jews after the horrific events of genocide and the Holocaust during WWII. We also learned that the Israeli hostage Dora Bloch, mentioned in his play, was killed very close to the site where George met his own traumatizing fate eight years later and that dictatorial leadership had expelled South-Asian citizens from Uganda in 1972. Some of those people later settled in Canada via their British colonial connections.
The play "Come Good Rain" speaks to a complex historical situation where colonialism, imperialism and the violent struggles for post-colonial independence in Africa and worldwide intersect with Canadian history. The play is written bi-lingually including English and Luganda (George's native language that he was violently encouraged to give up as a child in a Catholic school in Uganda, another aspect addressed in the play).
Note: Only the work of students who signed the media waiver can be included in this online showcase of student work. Some works will be anonymous or only alluded to.
Click on images to access web projects
Group 1 website
Group 2 website
Group 3 website
Group 4 e-book downloadable
Group 5 (blog, not authorized for publication)
Group 6 website
Group assignment description
Group dramaturgical portfolio project and presentation: 20% (web-based project)
Based on a specifically assigned play (Come Good Rain) each group will build a functional website that could inform a theatre company’s or creative team’s new production including research and communication on content, form and context, space and design of the play/project; a well curated list of knowledge resources, interview/or conversation about the project (podcast or video), production history, production politics (for example casting), suggestions for community engagement and collaboration with research communities, audience development suggestions.
IMPORTANT: Each group member MUST identify their concrete contributions to the project.
Due date half page proposal outlining an initial idea, sources and method, labor division: Nov.23, 2020
Due date: last two sessions of the course depending on group number on Dec. 9, 2020