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Children Of Killers

Children Of Killers

Written by Katori Hall, Directed by Leon Phillips

Children of Killers was performed by the Belgrade Black Youth Theatre as part of the NT Connections 500 Festival on Thursday 25 – Saturday 27 February 2016.

The president of Rwanda is releasing the killers. Years after the Tutsi genocide, the perpetrators begin to trickle back into the countryside to be reunited with their villages. A trio of friends, born during the genocide’s bloody aftermath, prepare to meet the men who gave them life. But as the homecoming day draws closer the young men are haunted by the sins of their fathers. Who can you become when violence is your inheritance?

The Belgrade’s Black Youth Theatre was created so that we could hear the voices of, and tell the stories from, the black community. With this production the group tackle a story based on interviews Katori Hall conducted at a genocide studies conference in Rwanda.

Directors note from Leon Phillips:

Katori Hall’s Children of Killers was written in 2011 and will always be relevant, the Rwandan genocide is an important part of history that should never be forgotten. Just as important as the actual genocide is the aftermath and the way in which those involved dealt with what they had to go through. Neighbours became killers but the important lesson to learn is that in many places the killers were forgiven by those whom they committed the atrocities against, I have enough trouble forgiving someone who takes food off of my plate without asking, when during the rehearsal process we found out that people had willingly forgiven the perpetrators we were blown away! It also resorted a bit of my faith in humanity.
bq. Our BYT group is made up mostly of girls, so whenever we devise things it’s usually the girls who get the majority of the spotlight. also the girls are particularly strong actors. When we first got the script I was originally thinking of having the girls play the guys roles as there are plenty good enough to have taken these roles, but as the majority of our plays have had our girls in the main roles I thought I’d switch it up this time… but I do sometimes wonder how different it would be with the girls in those roles… maybe that will be our next piece. As I’ve said before this is the first scripted piece that we’ve done with the BYT, it’s a challenging subject, and we’ve had lots of conversations about what goes on in the play and the genocide itself. I hope that the participants have had fun working on this piece but have also learned a lot from it.