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Preview 1: Holding Talks (Duke University Institute of the Arts)

February 9, 2004 - Durham, NC:


Holding Talks (Duke University Institute of the Arts, 8 p.m. Feb. 25-27 in Sheafer Theater in the Bryan Center on Duke's West Campus in Durham, NC) is a short Absurdist drama by Nigerian playwright Ola Rotimi (1938-2000). According to the institute, Rotimi "was perhaps best known for his play The Gods Are Not to Blame, a re-telling of the Oedipus story set in an African context. In cooperation with the Rotimi Foundation, [the Duke Institute of the Arts is presenting] one of Rotimi's shorter, but equally compelling plays. Set in a poor barbershop somewhere in Africa, Holding Talks explores the universal human tendency towards verbosity in situations where action is needed. Both funny and infuriating, Holding Talks is an 'up close and personal' theatrical experience. It will be directed by one of Ola Rotimi's protégés, Dr. Niyi Coker." (Dr. Coker is a professor of theater at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.) The institute adds, "While [Holding Talks] is memorable, it is also infuriating in the playwright's own words, this is a play 'in which nothing gets done. Things almost get done, but in the end, nothing gets done.' But there is a great deal of talking about things getting done. In that sense, it echoes the daily headlines you can find in almost any newspaper...." There will be an optional "audience discussion" after each performance. Discussion leaders include: Duke Department of Theater Studies professor Dan Foster (Feb. 25); John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Associate Director Richenel Ansano (Feb. 26); and Dr. Niyi Coker and the playwright's son Kole Heyward-Rotimi (Feb. 27). For more information, visit http://www.duke.edu/web/dia/calendar.html. For tickets, telephone 919/684-4444 or visit http://www.tickets.duke.edu/. Parking Alert: There is no free parking adjacent to the Bryan Center anymore. You may purchase a $3 parking voucher when you buy your ticket or pay $5 at the new Parking Deck (PGIV) located on Science Drive, behind the Bryan Center.