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10 Blocks on the Camino Real


National Theatre of Ghana National Theatre of Ghana
"A big-hearted Williams one-act about love and heroism, staged with West African flair in a performance full of vibrant song and dance, perfectly suited to the outdoor marketplace."

The University of Michigan Center for World Performance Studies (CWPS) hosts the National Theatre of Ghana in residence from September 12-17, featuring a series of open air performances of 10 Blocks on the Camino Real, written by Tennessee Williams. In this one-act play, song, dialogue and dance are used to tell the story of how the American hero Kilroy enters the pantheon of heroes by losing his innocence. The plaza of Ten Blocks on the Camino Real is a crossroads of world theater, drawing on Williams’ experiences in Mexico, and inspired by German theater, Chinese opera and commedia del’arte. Ghana is the source and setting for this new production, directed by David Kaplan, curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. While the spoken English text is performed as written by Williams, Spanish songs and Spanish words have been translated to Ghanaian songs and Ghanaian languages. Don Quixote has become Okomfo Okokye, the founder of the Ashanti line of kings, who finds his sidekick, Osei-tutu. Other Spanish details are exchanged for Ghanaian specifics: pesos for pesewas, fiesta for jubilee. The presiding musician plays two blue djembe drums, rather than a blue guitar.

Established in 1983 at the University of Ghana at Legon, the professional theater company once known as “Abibigromma” became the resident troupe of the National Theatre of Ghana in 1991. The focus of the company is to develop a rich blend of music, dance, mime, movement, and dialogue with a strong social, spiritual and folkloric base. In addition to performances and class visits throughout the week, they will give a workshop for the public at the Residential College on Wednesday, September 13 at 4pm in the East Quad Keene Theater, and will also work with students at Ann Arbor’s Community High School, and Mosaic Youth Theater in Detroit.
CWPS aims to recreate the atmosphere of the Ghanaian outdoor productions here in Michigan, staging performances in four outdoor venues through the week. These include:

Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market
315 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor MI
Wednesday, September 13 at 12pm

The Diag
University of Michigan
Friday, September 15 at 12pm

Ypsilanti Farmers Market Depot Town
100 Rice Street, Ypsilanti MI
Saturday, September 16 at 11am

CMAP Detroit
2221 Carpenter, Detroit MI
Sunday, September 17 at 2pm

All performances are free and open to the public.
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When and Where

Ann Arbor Farmer's Market

September 2017

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Map Diag - Central Campus

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Ypsilanti Farmer's Market Depot Town - 100 Rice Street

11:00am - 12:00pm

CMAP Detroit - 2221 Carpenter, Detroit MI

2:00pm - 3:00pm

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