Don’t Be Afraid of Being Afraid

​Review of Mwindo at Seattle Children's Theater by Susana D.


Mwindo, written by Cheryl L. West, is a modern adaptation of an ancient tale spun by the elusive Nyanga tribe who reside in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Set Designer Carey Wong transports the audience to Africa with twisting liana vines, rocky mountains, and intricate patterns that cover the floor. Each portion of the set directly relates to the plot.

The story centers around a young boy by the name of Mwindo (Tyler Trerise) who was born walking and talking, already a full-grown man. His father, the Chief (William Hall), has forbidden the birth of a son who might one day challenge his right to rule. His mother (played by Tracy Michelle Hughes), afraid for her son’s safety, sends him on a journey where he will meet his two companions: the emotional hedgehog Cha-Cha (Reginald Andre Jackson) and the amusing and adorable Spider-Cricket (Felicia V. Loud).

The second act begins as Mwindo, having trained his mind and his body, sets off to vanquish his father, followed by the reluctant Cha-Cha and Spider-Cricket. Mwindo refuses to accept the love that he has been given by those close to him and instead begins to attack his father, the chief. At the last minute, Mwindo is saved from doing anything he regrets by the golden hawk, controlled by his mother’s spirit.

A song and dance follows the climax of the tale in which Mwindo is accepted by the villagers and is crowned the new Chief. He realizes the importance of love and the benefits of accepting help that is offered to him.

Truly a play for the whole family, Mwindo is a beautifully written coming-of-age story that teaches the audience not to be afraid of being afraid.

Seattle Children's Theater
January 22 - February 15

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