Takunda

Johnny Lee Davenport, Michael E. Myers, Pat Bowie, and Synthia Hardy in the 1987 Great Chicago Playwrights Exposition production of Takunda.

The original version of Takunda, titled Tales of South Africa, was commissioned and produced by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ Imaginary Theatre Company, Tony Kushner, artistic director, Russell Vandenbroucke, associate producing director. Under the titleTakunda, it has been produced by several regional theatres including statewide tours by Seattle Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Sixteen-year-old Takunda’s world is turned upside down when her father is arrested for his political activities in the turbulent Rhodesia of 1973. A coming of age story for our complex times, Takundacarries a message of hope and courage. The play employs authentic African folk tales and songs, an ensemble of four black actors, and the lively art of storytelling.

“…a winning blend of folktale and political fable that uses the most basic – and the most magical – elements of theater to weave its spell, a blend of storytelling, song, and pure theatrical imagination.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

Takunda is available in Multicultural Theater II: Contemporary Hispanic, Asian and African-American Plays, edited by Roger Ellis, Meriwether Publishing, Ltd., 1998.

Takunda was also published by Plays In Process, Theatre Communications Group, New York, 1988.

Scenes from Takunda can be found in Multicultural Scenes for Young Actors, edited by Craig Slaight and Jack Sharrar, Smith and Kraus, Inc., 1995.

Original first drafts, intermediate drafts, final and/or published drafts of this play are part of the DePaul University Library’s Special Collections Archives Division, 2000.

Production Requirements:

Cast requirements: 2 men, 2 women
Set RequirementsTakunda was written to tour into middle schools and high schools with little to no set requirements.
Running time: 50 minutes.