This is not a commission but a story about a refugee from the Sudan who would like his tale written down and presented as a play.
I have met with him three times and know he has a compelling story. He was a student activist in college, was thrown in jail, tortured and in a moment of an amazing grace, let out of jail - where he said good-bye to his wife, young son and a child in the womb. He walked to Kenya for a month. Eventually he found his way to American and months later to the Twin Cities. Years later, he tried to get his wife and children over. It took years. They were slated to come over on 9/11 or 9/12. 2001. Of course that didn't happen. More waiting.
In the course of waiting, he had a kidney transplant - which he feels is part of the story. I have pondered a way to tell this story for a year and I feel it is so far from everything I know - I haven't been able to formulate a play in my head. I cannot make up my mind how to get it on paper. I have mentioned it to him but he wants me to persevere as he does not know many playwrights!
Does this resonate with anyone? Is anyone interested in this project? I want to do his story justice and I feel I am years away from doing so. I am simply working too many jobs to do proper search. Another difficulty - is he does speak English of course - but the typing (e-mail) is spotty. And meeting in the Twin Cities is difficult for most (if not impossible). However, speaking on the phone works. You may e-mail me privately. Mattkirs@msn.com
Auustralia's, in my opinion, disgraceful immigration policy has seen many such cases and resulted in a particularly powerful piece of work which toured the country last year. Called Through the Wire and written by Ros Horin it followed the story of, from memory, six immigrants mixing personal history in Australia... the support they received from some quarters, even a marriage, with the problems they faced in their own countries.
Might be worth looking at or then again it might confuse but it is an interesting piece of docu drama