Wed, Sep 14, 2022

7:30 PM – 9 PM EDT (GMT-4)

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The Underground at YSC

168 Grove Street, New Haven, CT 06510, United States




Requiem tells the true story of Congolese playwright, actor, director and producer Toto Kisaku, who was sent to death row for his musical comedies that educated the public about disinformation and child abuse by local churches and the complicit role of the government. In performing Requiem, Kisaku takes the audience on a journey from his imprisonment, using mannequins on stage to stand in for the cellmates whose faces Kisaku could not make out in the dark, to his escape from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2015.

"I wanted to show people what happens to people who are waiting to be executed. Two minutes before you are executed, what are you seeing? What are you thinking about the world?" he said. The play culminates with journey to the U.S., where he was granted asylum in 2018. 

In April, YSC hosted the popular session “Risking it All: A Conversation with Theater Artist Toto Kisaku,” where he spoke passionately about his work to expose American audiences to the plight of many immigrants escaping corruption, collusion and authoritarianism. “Requiem reflects a reality that people are ignoring. People hear about people being incarcerated and executed, but they ignore what’s going on inside the human being in that moment. I want the audience to know that each second in our life counts,” added Kisaku.

 Presented by YSC with support from Yale MacMillan Center Council on African Studies.

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