Last August, the Baltimore Playwrights Festival produced Passport, a new play by local playwright Kevin Kostic. Critically acclaimed, the piece told the story of an international aid worker trapped in a hotel room during the violent 2007 Kenyan election that left over 1,100 people dead and 600,000 displaced.
Kenya is now in the midst of its next national election. Even with a massive turnout on March 4th, the process thus far has been predominately peaceful. Analysts though fear that disputed results or a potential run-off election could lead to renewed tribal violence. As in 2007, voters once again overwhelmingly sided with the candidate from their particular ethnic group, a practice that flamed much of the previous violence.
"I owed something to the Kenyan people who lived through that experience." said Kostic. "Our play was connected to them in a deep way. Whether this new election goes off peacefully or if it's painful, I wanted to walk with them through it."
In order to stay connected with Kenya, Kostic and the show's director, Barry Feinstein, are organizing a staged-reading of select scenes from PASSPORT at the Fells Point Corner Theatre (251 S Ann St.) at 8pm. In addition, a speaker on Kenyan issues will be on hand to lead a post-performance discussion. As part of the evening, funds will be collected to support Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) general emergency outreach in the region.
Kostic, who also works at CRS' world head quarters in Baltimore, feels this is an important opportunity. "Kenya is a country filled with hope and promise. It's also working against some major challenges. In it's own way, I think Baltimore is the same. I'm hoping this event will open up our imagination to how we're connected."
When: Monday, March 18, 2013; 8pm
Where: Fells Point Corner Theatre
251 S Ann St. Baltimore, MD 21117