TimeLine Theatre’s production hits you squarely in the gut and never lets you go until the end. Confining the audience within its tiny playing area, the production feels up close and personal, almost unfolding in your lap. The story focuses on Hawa, a young victim of this holocaust, Carlos, an empathetic American medical aide, and Jan, a passionate New York Times reporter. This is a production that will move and haunt you long after the final curtain.
Winter Miller’s emotionally volcanic drama depicts the horror inflicted by the Sudanese government guerrilla force in their 2003 assaults upon civilians. The government-armed militia, known as the Janjaweed, brutally murdered every man and boy and savagely raped every woman and young girl living in the poverty stricken district of Darfur. Many of these poor women were later punished for their “adultery” by being beaten 40 times, as dictated by Muslim law. This never-ending nightmare is heightened by Andrew Hansen’s emotionally charged musical score, Nic Jones and Jesse Klug’s brilliant lighting design and Mike Tutaj’s unbelievable projections and video.
Nick Bowling’s 7-member cast, many of whom play multiple characters, is as skilled and powerful as any ensemble found on Broadway or the West End. Gregory Isaac is strong and compassionate as Carlos; Kelli Simpkins brings pluck and determination to Jan. But it is Mildred Marie Langford who, as Hawa, is the heart and soul of this play. As the young, English-speaking Darfuri teacher and gang rape victim, Ms. Langford puts a face onto the hundreds of thousand Sudanese refugees with dignity and valor.