Article by Ogova Ondego
Published October 8, 2008
Beauty for Ashes, a 75-minute play written by a Kenyan, makes its world premiere in Los Angeles, California, USA, in November 2008. OGOVA ONDEGO reports.
Peres Owino, who studied at Loreto High School in Limuru in Kenya, is an award-winning stage and screen performer, writer, director and poet.
“This play tells the story of an African woman, a Witchdoctor and a bride. The piece is about who I am. I believe that is the best way to end my film and theatre life in America. The music is by Ayub Ogada,” says Owino who studied theatre and performing arts at the University of Wisconsin before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television.
Directed by Ayana Cahrr and choreography by Mecca Andrews with Lily Cattaneo, Nicholas Utley and Kathleen Oï¿½Toole with Owino in the lead role, Beauty for Ashes runs at Stage 52, 5299 W. Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016, November 7-23, 2008. Tickets to the play cost US$20 per head.
Owino, who is Skilled in traditional African dance, Afro drumming, Hip Hop, and Mezzo Soprano, says she is about to return to Kenya “to work on a film career and tell the stories of my people. I have been watching a lot of Kenya cinema and communicating with Kenyan filmmakers who live in the US. I wish I could get more to come back with me, but whatever I get is enough for the appointed hour.”
She says she started acting and writing while in Loreto High School in Limuru.”I am blessed to have been featured in several theatre and film productions. I have also written several screenplays and plays and have some ready to be shot. My background is in Acting, Writing, Producing and Directing. I produced my first film in January of 2005, wherein I had the daunting task of wearing all four hats.”
Owino says she has passion for the works of William Shakespeare and that she relates them to the lives and times of Africans and the African Diaspora.
“The meaning of life,” says the artist who speaks Dholuo, Kiswahili, English and Spanish, “is that there is no meaning to life. It is simply experience without reason!”