Mukwerere

Jamie Bell & Austin Powers

Spring
2015

Mukwerere captures a moment in the lives of four characters who call Zimbabwe home, according to Bell. The play explores experiences of those characters who tackle the question of belonging, as the ghosts of the past, made up of the deaths of hundreds of white Zimbabwean farmers in the land battle under the Mugabe regime, continue to haunt their present. The title is derived from the Zimbabwean Mukwerere ritual—a rain-making ceremony—a plea to the ancestors to bring rain to thirsty fields and yield a fruitful harvest, explains playwright Bell, herself a native of Zimbabwe. When the rivers run low, beer is brewed, the ancestral graves are swept, and the dance begins.