University of Pittsburgh
November 20, 2001

Pitt's Kuntu Repertory Theatre to Sponsor Production Nov. 23 and 28 at the Byham Theatre and Conduct Program Nov. 30 at the ElderAdo Senior Center in Mt. Oliver

Contact:  412-624-4147

The University of Pittsburgh's internationally renowned Kuntu Repertory Theatre will promote the arts in the community on Nov. 23 and 28 when it sponsors the play Dowry at the Byham Theatre downtown, and on Nov. 30 when it conducts a free Seniors in Action Program at the ElderAdo Center, 320 Brownsville Road, Mt. Oliver.

Kuntu is collaborating with Elie Kihonia, president of Afrika Yetu, and the Wacongo Dance Company to present Dowry. Starring Lamine Tchaim of the film Amistad and Keba "Bobo" Cissoko, Dowry is a cross-section of the everyday drama taking place half a world away in the villages of Africa, interspersed with performances of traditional African music and dance by Wacongo Dance Company. Afrika Yetu is producing Dowry, which was written by Kihonia, and is being codirected and coproduced by Kuntu founder and artistic director Vernell A. Lillie, and coproduced by the Andy Warhol Museum. Afrika Yetu is a Pittsburgh-based cultural organization promoting an appreciation of African cultural arts as well as an awareness of the scourge of AIDS in Africa. Also assisting in supporting the production are the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Bayer Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Both performances of Dowry begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15, and $10.

The Seniors in Action Program begins at 1:15 p.m. Nov. 30. The performance will involve senior citizens singing songs, and reciting poems by Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, and Langston Hughes. The program is made possible through a grant from the Birmingham Foundation, which provides cultural outreach activities for residents of senior citizen care centers on Pittsburgh's South Side. For the past few months, Lillie, Kuntu managing director Eileen J. Morris, and other Kuntu staff members have been facilitating senior center workshops in psychodrama, music, and theatre. The performance is free and open to the public.

For more information on the Seniors in Action Program or the presentation of Dowry, call 412/624-7298.