Witness Uganda
A.R.T. Season
February 4, 2014 - March 16, 2014
When Griffin, a young man from New York City, volunteers for a project in Uganda, he finds himself on a journey that will change his life forever. Inspired by a true story, this rousing new musical, staged by Tony Award-winning director and A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus, exposes the challenges confronted by American aid workers and the complex realities of trying to change the world.
 
Standing Room Tickets
 
A very limited number of standing room tickets for select sold-out shows will be sold on the day of each show, in person only and only 1 ticket per person, from A.R.T. Ticket Services. The Ticket Office opens at 12:00PM.
 
 

 
Join Matt Gould, Griffin Matthews, and members of the cast for “Act III,” a twenty-minute post-show discussion that will be held after each performance. 
 
On select dates, cast members will be joined by the following experts and scholars, who will reflect on the themes of the show and discuss their own research and work. 
 
Click here to learn more and see the select dates.
 
Witness Uganda Audience Responses: 

Audience reactions to "Witness Uganda" at A.R.T.

Witness Uganda in Rehearsal (Teaser Trailer)

Creative team
by

Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews

Directed by Diane Paulus
Choreography Darrell Grand Moultrie
Set Design Tom Pye
Costume Design ESosa
Lighting Design Maruti Evans
Sound Design Jonathan Deans
Projection Design Peter Nigrini
Music Director Remy Kurs
Associate Director Shira Milikowsky
Casting Stephen Kopel, C.S.A.
Production Stage Manager Carolyn Boyd
Cast (in order of speaking)
Griffin Griffin Matthews
Jacob Michael Luwoye
Joy Adeola Role
Ryan Emma Hunton
Eden Nicolette Robinson
Grace Kristolyn Lloyd
Ibrahim Jamar Williams
Ronny Tyrone Davis, Jr.
Ensemble Melody Betts, Rodrick Covington, Kevin Curtis, LaTrisa Harper, Aisha Jackson, Jamard Richardson
Band
Conductor/Keyboard 1 Matt Gould
Keyboard 2 Brian Li
Viola Andrew Griffin
Drummer Nathan V. Terry
Guitar Charlie Chronopoulos
Bass Jonny Morrow
Percussion Senfuab Stoney
Additional staff
Assistant Stage Manager Stephanie M. Holmes
Assistant Director Mia Walker
Assistant Choreographer Amy Hall Garner
Producing Associate

Jared Fine

Wig and Hair Design

Leah Loukas

Associate Costume Design

Dede Ayite

Assistant Lighting Design

Tsubasa Kamei

Associate Projection Designer

David Bengali

Video Supervisor

Derek Wiles

Synth Programming Assistant Brian Li
Dramaturgy

Ryan McKittrick, Ashley Melone,
Marissa L. Friedman, Christian Ronald

Dialect Coach

Charlotte Fleck

Assistant Vocal Coach

Ashleigh Reade

Copyist Andrew Griffin
Music Assistant

Luke Anderson

Music Intern

Khiyon Hursey

Producing Assistants

Allison Grant, Courtney Ziegler

Assistant to Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews

Greg Nobile

Additional Orchestrations and Vocal Arrangements
Andrew Griffin, Remy Kurs, Nathan Terry
Electronic Music Design
Jeff Marder
Dance Captain
LaTrisa Harper*

 

UNDERSTUDIES
Understudies never substitute for listed players unless a specific announcement is made at the time of the performance.
For Griffin: TYRONE DAVIS, JR.*; for Griffin and Ensemble: TYRICK WILTEZ JONES*; for Joy and Ensemble: MARTHA BOLES; for Jacob: RODRICK COVINGTON*; for Ryan: LAUREN DOUCETTE; for Grace and Eden: AISHA JACKSON*; for Ronny and Ibrahim: KEVIN CURTIS*

 

WITNESS UGANDA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM - HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Producing: Mark Mauriello ‘15
Playwriting: Brenna McDuffie ‘15 ^
Directing: Lily Glimcher ‘14
Directing: Susanna Wolk ‘14
Music: Madeline Smith ‘14
Choreography: Megan Murdock ‘14 ^
Stage Management: Jumai Yusuf ‘16
Stage Management: Kyra Atekwana ‘14
Marketing Selena: Kim ‘15 ^

(^) Spring 2014 Harvard Arts and Museums Fellow, funded with support from the Office of Career Services

 

Originally developed at Vineyard Arts Project, co-produced by Brooke Hardman and Ashley Melone

Rehearsed at the New 42nd Street Studios and the Loeb Drama Center

 

SPECIAL THANKS

Susan Abbott; ASCAP; Ildiko Sragli and Barry Appelman; Hasan Askari; The Bishop Family; Clint Bond; Katie Boeck; Jane Bolster and the Richard Rodgers committee; Anne Marie Bookwalter; Dillon Bustin; Rev. Christine Nakyeyune Busuulwa; John Buzzetti; Keith Caggiano; Vanessa Coakley; Susan Cook; Brett Cramp; Virginia Dajani; Laurie DeMarco; Robin Lafoley and Mitchell Dong; Michael Eder; Deb Fowler; Molly Gachignard; Maria Giarrizzo; Erica Glenn; The Gould Family; The Griffin Family; David Hempton; Tim Sanford, Kent Nicholson and all at Playwrights Horizons; Brenna St. George Jones; Edward Jones; Dean Kay; Annie Kee; Kathryn Kozlark; Joan Lader; Timothy Lappin; Timothy Longman; Mary MacLeod; Sam Martinborough; Timothy McCarthy; Kevin McCollum; Lucas McMahon; Ashley Melone; Brittany Melone; Cameron Mizell; Andrea Moore; Anne Muyanga; Greg Nobile; Leslie Odom, Jr.; The Paris Family; Julia Putnam; Juanita Rodrigues; Michael Rose; Amy Rosenblum; Jimmy Ryan; Kyle Scatliffe; Stephen Schwartz; Molly Shoemaker; Amy Slaughter; Shannan Smith; Abigail Spencer; Summit Series; Michael Taglieri; Maura Tighe; Nondumiso Tembe; Wilson Torres; the students of UgandaProject; Zurin Villanueva; Jonathan L. Walton; Lyle Warner; Elissa Weinzimmer; Elizabeth Woodbury; Jeanne Smith and Pam Young
Digico; d&b audiotechnik; Meyer Sound; Sound Associates

Perhaps because Gould and Matthews don’t play up the pathos — they’re just telling a true story, honestly and artfully — it’s all the more overwhelming when it catches you unawares. More

The A.R.T does it again with WITNESS UGANDA a vibrant, moving world premiere production, that tells a modern true story of the power and the dark side of philanthropy(!) and stars the actual gay, black, Christian man who lived it. More

Uganda threatens to join Oklahoma and Brigadoon as a favored musical-theater destination. More

Fasten your seat belts, readers of The White Rhino Report, for this show evoked in me a great deal of thought and emotion, and I want to share these things in depth with you as I review the show that had last evening's audience weeping in catharsis and shouting and clapping in joy.
Stirring, deeply felt musical having its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater through March 16, 2014. For once, good intentions are transformed into powerful theater.

Here presented in its world premiere and masterfully directed by Diane Paulus, it tells the story of an African-American actor, tired of pounding the pavement in New York, who volunteers to go to Uganda to help build a village school just outside the capital city of Kampala.  More

Few of us would think of turning one of our life experiences into a musical or have the vision and talent to pull it off. But the young Griffin Matthews has done so with the help of co-creator Matt Gould. More

It's hard to imagine a more achingly personal musical than “Witness Uganda.” And that's what helps to make this world premiere at American Repertory Theater so involving – and, in many ways, so remarkable. More

It is a stirring, humorous and musically brilliant, yet somehow relaxed, narrative of one frustrated young man's journey of personal discovery and understanding. More

Diane Paulus, who is directing American Repertory Theater’s production of “Witness Uganda,” says its music “didn’t sound like anything I had heard before.” More

Pages

Press Releases

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2014 Contact: Kati Mitchell 617-496-2000x8841 kati_mitchell@harvard.edu   American Repertory Theater AnnouncesAmerican Sign Language Interpreted and Audio Described...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 6, 2014 Contact: Kati Mitchell 617-495-2668 kati_mitchell@harvard.edu       American Repertory Theater Announcesthe Cast and Creative Team for the World Premiere Musical...
For Immediate Release: December 19, 2013 Contact: Kati Mitchell 617-495-2668 kati_mitchell@harvard.edu     American Repertory Theater at Harvard University Receives National Endowment for the Arts Art...
The American Repertory Theater is pleased to announce that it will present the world premiere of the musical Witness Uganda, created by Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews, and directed by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus. The production will begin performances at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge in February of 2014.

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Run time

2 hours with one intermission with a 20-minute post-show discussion.

Venue

64 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

High-res image:
High-res image:
Venue Map

Need to know

Recommended for grades 6 and up.

This new musical is based on the true story of one of its creators.  It contains mild profanity and some intense dramatic moments.

 

The production uses haze and strobe like lighting. 

 

 ASL Dates: 

March 4, 7:30PM
March 9, 2:00PM

 

 Audio Described Dates: 

March 5, 7:30PM*
March 8, 2:00PM*

*Touch tour 1 hour prior

Access

Accessibilty
Assistive Listening Devices
Large Print Programs

ACT III

Join Matt Gould, Griffin Matthews, and members of the cast for “Act III,” a twenty-minute post-show discussion that will be held after each performance. 

On select dates, cast members will be joined by the following experts and scholars, who will reflect on the themes of the show and discuss their own research and work. 

Click here to learn more and see the select dates.

Performance sponsors:

Winner of a 2014 Richard Rodgers Production Award, administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters,
Winner of a 2012 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater

2014 Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award Recipient 

Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Chair, Hunt Alternatives Fund

NEA/ART WORKS