Research! The word the pierces performers ears and keeps them up and night.
Research! The verb that makes you travel to places you could not imagine about.
Research! The noun brings thoughts, ideas and works of art together.
Research, research, research!
I don't know if you can tell by reading the above that I'm not a big fan of research. But I'm not. That's why I love dramaturges because creative life is so much more pleasant with them around. However, John Rwothomack is quite the opposite. He ...Is...a research junky. He may whine about it but you can tell that this guy actually loves it.
I had the privilege of meeting the extraordinary actor John Rwothomack
at Kampala International Theatre Festival and he made it quite clear that we were to remain friends and so we have. John lengthened his stay in Uganda after the festival in order to conduct research for a new work of his. I remember he called me up morning and announced to me that he was excited to get into the archives at Makerere University. I'm like: hold up! Now, see, for me...research is like: Hey google, what's happening? But for John it's like:
I admire that. Yoh! The work!
John's work is imbued with rich history and knowledge. They are performative essays that question our existence. A lot of people think acting and directing are the easiest vocations to get into but it's quite the contrary. A performer has their fair share of finding out all they need to know in order for a production to happen. The wider your knowledge base, the more you can give to the performance. It isn't just about waking up, winking your sexy face and strutting off the stage in attitude. It's about thinking, it's about asking questions. Some of my most exciting conversations about the human condition have been around production tables as artists navigate ways to communicate hard truths in simple ways. Performers can easily be called the thinkers of society.
Johns research took him to University libraries, military libraries and many other kinds of libraries. He would not relent and I look forward to viewing his work because I know it has simmered in the libraries of time.
Check out Johns site below: