Witness Uganda Musical Resurfaces With Original Title, New Songs, and Heightened Stakes

Readings and Workshops   Witness Uganda Musical Resurfaces With Original Title, New Songs, and Heightened Stakes Moya Angela, Amber Iman, Emma Hunton, and co-writer Griffin Matthews took part in a Los Angeles reading of the docu-musical that was previously seen Off-Broadway in 2015.
Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould
Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould

Development continues on Witness Uganda, Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews’ compelling docu-musical that played an Off-Broadway run at Second Stage Theatre under the title Invisible Thread.

Based on Matthews’ own experience as a Peace Corps volunteer working in Uganda, the musical won the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre in 2012. Witness Uganda caught the attention of Tony-winning American Repertory Theater Artistic Director Diane Paulus, who staged the world premiere at A.R.T. in 2014, and the subsequent Off-Broadway run at Second Stage in 2015.

READ: The Trip to Uganda That Birthed a Love Affair and a Groundbreaking Musical

Invisible Thread attracted a legion of fans during its New York run (despite a divided response from New York critics), and the show’s writers have continued to move forward with the show they originally set out to write.

They have just completed a closed reading of Witness Uganda at The Wallis in Los Angeles. The co-writers have now taken over as co-directors of their story, restoring the original title and taking a harder line on the show’s political and sexual themes in America’s current political climate.

“Matt and I have spent the last year restoring our show to its original roots, including returning back to the name Witness Uganda,” Matthews told Playbill. “We've written several new songs and deepened our themes around race, sexuality, and politics as an answer to our country's current political climate. We're so excited to share our documentary musical in a more gritty and truthful way.”

The private September 11 reading of Witness Uganda again featured Matthews as Griffin, alongside Moya Angela, Eric B. Anthony, Jordan Barrow, India Carney, Jay Donnell, Rachael Ferrera, Mark J.P. Hood, Emma Hunton, Amber Iman, Antonio Leroy King, and Krystle Rose Simmons.

The reading was presented by The Wallis and ASCAP.


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