The most famous theatre director in Sierra Leone — a West African nation stricken by Ebola, extreme poverty, civil war and devoid of even a single theatre venue — wants to stage the most ambitious play in his country’s history, and inspire those thinking of migrating to Europe to stay and help rebuild their nation.
Charlie Haffner is Sierra Leone’s most beloved theatre director. After decades watching his country crumble and seeing his people leave in search of better lives, he’s had enough. Charlie wants to create a play unlike anything his people have seen: a magnum opus to unite them around a shared sense of their past and a hopeful vision of their future — an inspiration for the next generation to stay and help rebuild the country they call their home.
But this is a country without a single dedicated theatre venue. Charlie has always created his plays within the country’s communities, using their villages and town squares as the sets and using locals as the actors. Raising the funds for this new venture, let alone writing, directing and staging the play, will be a journey of dogged determination, bitter frustrations and rich rewards.
This is the story of a celebrated cultural mind in one of the world’s poorest and most troubled countries taking on the greatest challenge of his life: to create a work of art that will influence the future not only of his own country but of the many countries across the continent that have suffered in similar ways and need their people to believe a better future is possible.