United States (U.S.) Embassy Partners with Renowned Ethiopian Artists to Bring an American Classic to Ethiopian Audiences

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The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa was pleased to partner with renowned Ethiopian playwrights, directors, and artists of the National Theatre, to translate and produce Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, for Ethiopian audiences.  Through the U.S. Embassy, Addis Ababa, Public Affairs Section’s small funds program, renowned Ethiopian playwright Alemayehu Gebrehiwot translated Arthur Miller’s masterpiece into Amharic, and the play was directed by Tekle Desta and presented to Ethiopian audiences with the title የአባወራ ጉዞ (Ye Abawera Guzo).

The production involved Ethiopian artists Tesfaye Gebrehana, Adanech Woldegebriel, Serafel Teka, Michael Tamire, and Genet Assefa, and opened at the National Theater on Sunday, March 5.   In the coming weeks, it will be presented to high school and college students and professors in Addis Ababa and will tour throughout Ethiopia.  The objective of the project is to promote intercultural understanding and the people-to-people connection between Americans and Ethiopians by introducing a classic American play to an Ethiopian audience.  The project also aims to inspire Ethiopian theatergoers to understand American culture by promoting social discourse and dialogue.

Last weekend’s premiere at the National Theater was attended by the Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy Ruth Anne Stevens-Klitz, along with Ethiopian government officials, Ethiopian artists, and special invited guests.  Previously, only a few American plays, such as Edward Albee’s, Zoo Story (አንበሣ ግቢ) and Eugene O’Neills’s, Welded (አንድ ለአንድ), have been translated and performed in Ethiopian theaters.

Speaking at a press conference following the premiere, Stevens-Klitz noted, “The Embassy is proud to partner with the Ethiopian National Theater on this innovative project, as it may create a deeper cultural dialogue and creative engagement through artistic activities for the youth.  We’re excited to share this American with the next generation of actors, directors, and audiences to help rekindle the excitement for live theater in Ethiopia.”  

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This is another successful example of the strength and value of American-Ethiopian partnerships. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia.