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Mlima's Tale

Mlima's Tale
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Lynn Nottage
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 54
Pub. Date: 2019
ISBN-10: 0822239485
ISBN-13: 9780822239482
Cast Size: 1 female, 3 male (doubling)

About the Play:

Mlima's Tale is a full-length drama by Lynn Nottage. Mlima is a magnificent elephant trapped by the underground international ivory market. As he follows a trail littered by a history of greed and desire as old as trade itself, Mlima takes us on a journey through memory, fear, history and tradition, and what is between want and need. Mlima's Tale is a provocative play from the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Ruined and Sweat.

Mlima's Tale is the story of Mlima, a majestic elephant struck down by poachers for his tusks. Beginning in a game park in Kenya and travelling around the world to a billionaire's penthouse in the West, the play tracks the trajectory of Mlima's tusks through the ivory trade market while Mlima's phantom follows close behind – marking all those involved as complicit in his death. Inspired by the real-life consequences of animal poaching, Mlima's Tale is a piercing story of human cruelty born of greed and wavering values.

Mlima's Tale premiered in 2018 at The Public Theatre Off-Broadway in New York City. Since then the play has been performed in regional and college theatre productions and received its British premiere in 2023 at Kiln Theatre in London.

Cast: 1 female, 3 male (doubling)

What people say:

"Those of you who don't believe in ghosts are likely to think again after seeing Mlima's Tale, Lynn Nottage's beautiful, endlessly echoing portrait of a murder and its afterlife… Each character, inhabiting a rung on an ascending ladder of power, is very clearly defined but without grotesque caricature… [Nottage] packs a wealth of cultural, political and economic detail into each scene, from Maasai superstitions to the statistics of the illegal ivory trade." — The New York Times

"[Mlima's Tale] is yet another towering American drama. While the play bears little relation to The Emperor Jones, it shares the relentless urgency and pulse of O'Neill's 98-year-old masterwork…after Ruined and Sweat and Mlima's Tale, we might well start to discuss O'Neill and Nottage in tandem." — NYStageReview.com

"The world Nottage has brought to the stage is rich with detail, its characters complex and engaging." — Time Out NY

"Eighty straight minutes of searing brilliance, Mlima's Tale makes a strong argument for plausible deniability as a luxury far greater than ivory, afforded to only the most privileged." — TheaterMania.com

"A haunting drama about avarice and ivory, offers a dramatic reminder that the majestic beasts endure things no living creature would want to recall." — New York Daily News

About the Playwright:

Lynn Nottage is an African-American playwright and screenwriter whose work often deals with the lives of African Americans and women. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, and is also an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia School of the Arts. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Ruined and for Sweat, making her the first woman to win the prestigious award twice.

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