Western Gold Theatre wraps up summer 2022 with the world premiere 90 Days by Salim Rahemtulla, September 8-25, 2022 at PAL Studio Theatre.
50 years ago, in August of 1972, Idi Amin, the President of Uganda, called together troops at Tororo barracks and announced he had been instructed by God, through a dream, to throw out all the country’s roughly 80,000 strong Asian population. He then ordered their total expulsion, accusing them of economic sabotage, tax evasion, and other crimes. Describing the thriving community as “blood suckers and parasites,” Amin dubbed his racial witch hunt an “economic war”, and gave them just 90 days to leave the country.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Ugandan forced exodus of its Asian community, and based on first-time playwright Salim Rahemtulla’s own experiences, one of the largest expulsions of the 20th century is brought to life through the lens of a modest Ismaili family tearing themselves away from what they thought was home. Humorous, moving, and completely authentic, Western Gold is thrilled to present the world premiere of a fascinating new play, 90 Days.
Western Gold Theatre’s Artistic Director, Tanja Dixon-Warren, says “Presenting plays that reflect and illuminate the rich life experience of our senior community is at the core of WGT’s mandate. 90 Days embodies all the elements of that mandate – and more. First and foremost, we support an Elder who is newly emerging and discovering his artistic voice. The play reflects an important part of history we are proud to help illuminate and commemorate. And although this story addresses a particular time and community’s story, it has global resonance. It parallels the experience of so many people – in the past, and equally distressing, in the present. It’s timely and necessary.”
90 Days playwright, Salim Rahemtulla, says, “This story is loosely based on my own family’s sudden and painful departure from Kampala, with most of us being flung far away from each other to countries around the globe. It’s 50 years since the expulsion that caused a humanitarian crisis, and I felt it was important to tell this story for the future generations of the first non-European refugees allowed into Canada. With the current wider migration crisis and upheaval around the world, it made even more sense to recount it now.”
Directed by Melissa Oei, 90 Days runs September 8th to 25th at PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero Street. Western Gold will also be running a program of add-on educational, talkbacks, receptions and other social activities “Recounting 90 Days”. For more information about the program, performance details and tickets visit westerngoldtheatre.org