Monthly Archives: February 2011

Open Your Eyes to What’s In Darfur

By Wendy Simmons

In Darfur is a remarkably eye-opening production now showcased at the TimeLine Theatre Company on Chicago’s north side. It tells the story of Darfur’s battle with genocide in the early 2000s.  The play encompasses the point of view of a raped Darfuri woman, beaten and left for dead after her entire family had been killed…a New York Times reporter desperate to get the news of the genocide on the front pages of one of America’s most popular news outlets…and the volunteer doctor that is in Darfur to try to help a forgotten people.

Darfur, an African nation in Sudan had been under a genocide attack for years…starting in 2004, it is estimated that by 2010 there were 300,000 deaths attributed to the violence.  America heard very little about it, including myself…I remember hearing about a few Hollywood celebrities traveling there to bring attention to the unfathomable violence taking place, but I remember very little news coverage. We’re talking thousands of people being killed monthly and no coverage…no special report…no telethon…not a thing. Is this a racial issue; is it because of religion; is it because of Sudan’s oil and nations not wanting to sever ties with the government of Sudan…who knows? But these are the hard hitting issues that were focused on in In Darfur.

Timeline Theater is an intimate venue in which this very impactful play was performed. The actors were powerful and they demanded your attention and sympathy. Mildred Marie Lang-Ford who played Hawa, the English speaking Darfuri woman that was raped and now pregnant, gave an awesome performance. Because of Mildred’s character, the New York Times reporter, played by Kelli Simpkins was able to persuade her editors to put Darfur’s genocide on the front page. Hawa became the face of this war however it still took years for the people of Darfur to see the end of this hell on earth.

In Darfur allowed some of us sheltered Americans to witness what injustice and violence are really like. It should push us to educate ourselves about issues that are outside of our comfort zone. I encourage you to seek more information about the genocide in Darfur and question the lack of attention given to certain countries of this world.

Run to see In Darfur. It is worthy of our attention and definitely worth every dollar of the ticket price.  And I would personally like to thank them for putting this heart wrenching subject on stage.

I give it $$$$