In the News

It is an expression of pure, justifiable rage and a call to arms from half a world away: HEAR WORD! Naija Woman Talk True is viscerally alive onstage at the American Repertory Theater and will shake you into action.
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Using the power of spoken word and personal accounts of hardships, Nigerian women shed light on the truth of the daily struggles women face.
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What makes this show so cohesive is not only its powerful feminist message, but also its ability to balance comedy and tragedy as it transports its audience through vivid and often painful to watch scenes.
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The 100 minutes of this show contain a gamut of essential tales and testimonies that tear at heart and conscience but leave you cheering for the better angels of the human soul.
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Living in a society where men hold all the cards, the women have to constantly fight to protect their bodies, their dignity and their right to be who they are. If that weren’t enough, relationships with their own sex, including mothers and mothers-in-laws, tend to be judgmental and without compassion. Which is why the piece is so powerful – it is compassionate, and compassion, when in short supply, doesn’t come easy.
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A remarkable cast of Nigerian actresses pierce the heart in Hear Word! Naija Woman Talk True
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As they recount and enact story after story of women who have been on the receiving end of male entitlement, aggression, and abuse, “Hear Word!’’ inexorably adds up to a damning portrait of toxic masculinity — and, ultimately, a call for female solidarity and empowerment.
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"It takes you right into the heart of abuse," says Jared, "but you leave the theater armed with awareness and action."
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“I want the audience to draw parallels to how patriarchy manifests itself in Africa and how it manifests itself in the rest of the world,” says Fafunwa, who is currently the Mary I. Bunting Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute. “It is an olive branch, a bridge across cultures.”
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HEAR WORD!, brought to the area by the American Repertory Theater, stands on the edge of change yet to come, and calls for its arrival. “The idea was to encourage women to be the drivers for change, for equality, rather than wait for institutions or men or government,” says Ifeoma Fafunwa, the show's writer and director. “For women to ask themselves where are they responsible for inequality, and where are they able to empower, to be powerful.”
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