More recently “Why The Birds Sing To Me” was performed in Nairobi, Kenya at the Oshwal Center in May of 2013. This performance was supported by Aga Khan Academy and performed by students from the school. I was teaching music full time at the school and was able to work closely with the singers throughout the preparations. For these performances students were involved in many different capacities, acting, playing in the orchestra, building props, selling tickets, etc. We received a great amount of support from the administration and Head Teacher Jerri-Lynn Hainstock, and from the teachers and parents. This production, as the one in Uganda, was highly successful in educating people to the plight of child soldiers in Uganda and worldwide. Here is a link to the school website announcing the show.
I cannot say enough with regards to the performances of these young people. They worked extremely hard despite having to continue their daily studies at school. They performed with passion and were willing to take risks beyond their expectations. Musical drama productions have a unifying effect on communities. When doing shows there are always groups of people that have never performed in drama before. It’s always interesting to see how they emerge from their shell and become more like their real selves. More of who they really are as a person. That is the great value in performing musical drama. It engages many people in different capacities and gives everybody something to do, someway to be a part of the greater picture.