Africa Alive


Butler Theatre recently presented a play about refugees from Africa.

Butler Theatre recently presented a play about refugees from Africa.

African dance moves and singing are not typically found in the Butler Theatre department’s performances. However, Butler’s performance of “The Water Carriers,” employed this style with eloquence and tenacity.

With performances starting Nov. 12 and continuing all the way until Nov. 16, this was no small production. 

Even during the final performance, the actors were still performing with vigor despite the incredible amount of dancing in the show. 

“The Water Carriers” tells the story of a group of refugees fleeing Africa. 

The plot is also intertwined with various African legends, which ranged from a tale of how the world started to a story about the first emperor of the world. 

Though the transitions between the two different settings were difficult to follow at first, they became more and more obvious as the show progressed. 

A set of boxes meant to symbolize the refugees’ storage compartment was moved onstage each time the story transitioned back to the refugees. 

The acting, dancing and singing in the performance were all done with exceptional skill, complemented by the show’s sets and costumes.

The sets changed greatly over the course of the show. 

At first, the set was a pile of boxes in a storage compartment, but throughout the play the set changed to a giant tree of life, a river and an ancient kingdom.

Bright colors festooned with ornaments characterized the costumes of the play. 

The costumes of each character fit his or her personality, even though the individuals changed from scene to scene. 

Though “The Water Carriers” was confusing at times, the acting, sets and costumes compensated for that confusion and completed the show. 

It was obvious that the cast members put their whole hearts into the production, and the outcome was fantastic. 

I would give “The Water Carriers” four out of five stars.