British playwright Beau Hopkins wrote The River and the Mountain – the first Ugandan-produced play to deal with the theme of homosexuality. The controversial show, which premiered in Kampala in 2012, led to charges against and eventual deportation of producer David Cecil.
The River and the Mountain will make its US debut – and its first showing outside of Uganda – in a series of staged readings in the DC/Baltimore area, including a free staged reading this Saturday night at Artisphere. I recently spoke with Hopkins about the project and the current political climate in Uganda.
Joanna Castle Miller: Tell me a little about what led you to write this piece.
Beau Hopkins: I met (producer) David Cecil shortly after I arrived in Uganda in April of last year. And he introduced me to a theater company that suggested an interesting topic: the issue of homosexuality. It was something over which a blanket silence had descended that was politically motivated. And in their view, it was important to rupture that silence.