UNC-G-Trained Theatre Director and Actor Directs “Love for Mymah” at the Ibrahim Theatre in Philadelphia This Summer (July 28th): You Are All Invited!

Fyee captures Princess Mymah.
This summer theatre lovers in the United States will be entertained and educated on African/Liberian history and culture by Liberia’s longest surviving theatre organization during the 41st Anniversary Gala of Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI). The date of the event is Saturday, July 28, 2018, from 8-10 p.m., in the International Conference Center’s Ibrahim Theatre, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. The group will feature Dr. Joe Gbaba’s “Love for Mymah”, a two act play that narrates the love saga between two traditional Liberian royals: Kru Prince Jebro from Seklaykpor and Vai Princess Mymah from Jundoo. And, where best can a love story be told than in the American “City of Brotherly Love”—Philadelphia!
Admissions
Grand Patron: $100
Patron: $50
Adult: $25  READ MORE



Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI) Proudly Presents:

“Love for Mymah”

written and directed by Dr. Joseph Gbaba

Venue: Ibrahim Theatre, International House

3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Date: Saturday, July 28, 2018

Time: 6-11 PM

Admissions: Children: $10

Adult: $25

Patron: $50 (Including VIP Seating and Souvenir Brochure)

Grand Patron: $100 (Including VIP Seating and Souvenir Brochure)

Purchase your tickets today at: http:/www.dehkonteeartiststheatreinc.com

Click on the “Donate” button to purchase the ticket of your choice. Thereafter, you will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of your payment and the reservation of your seats.

About the Play: “Love for Mymah”

“Love for Mymah” is a tragic African romantic drama written and directed by veteran Liberian American playwright, poet, and theatre director and actor, Dr. Joe Gbaba. An excerpt from “Love for Mymah” was first staged at the University of Liberia during Dehkontee Artists Theatre’s Open House performance in July,1977–forty-one years ago.

DATI’s Open House performance was graced by the presence of two of Liberia’s leading cultural authorities during the administration of President William R. Tolbert, Jr. They were: Dr. Edward Binyah Kesselly, Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism, and Honorable Bai T. Moore, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism and father of modern day Liberian culture.

Also attending DATI’s Open House were Dr. Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman, President of the University of Liberia, parents of Dehkontee Artists Theatre members: Princess Martha Gbeh- Nyennonh-Garh Gaye (Dr. Gbaba’s mother), Isabella Carr Lokko (Kathy Lokko’s mother), Evelyna Howard (Joshua Howard’s), Mrs. Muriel Langley (Claude Langley’s), and Stephen J. Crayton, Sr. (Stephen Crayton, Jr.’s). UL students, and the public were also represented.

“Love for Mymah” narrates the intriguing love story between two Liberian royalties named Prince Jebo of the Kru ethnic and Kwa Linguistic Group of Eastern Liberia, and Princess Mymah of the Vai ethnic and Mande Linguistic Group of Northwestern Liberia. Together, these two linguistic groups (Kwa and Mande), along with the Settler cultures of freed slaves from the United States and Blacks from the Caribbean and other African countries around the globe that settled in Liberia, constitute Liberia’s rich and diversified cultural and historical heritage. Hence, “Love for Mymah” is an epitome of Liberian history, arts, and culture.

Princess Mymah was the daughter of a very powerful Vai King named Kemokai. According to Liberian mythology, she was one of the most beautiful women in the world. Handsome young men from all regions of Liberia and the West African subregion rushed to woo her but the “Manjalin” (Vai word for princess) turned all them wooers down!

Meanwhile, on the Kru Coast of Liberia was the most handsome and eligible bachelor in the world, and a very fierce warrior named Prince Jebo. He heard about the beautiful princess and decided to throw his war spear in the race. However, before Prince Jebo’s arrival in Vai Land, the fury fiend and alligator called “Fueh” had captured Princess Mymah and was about to sacrifice her!

Everyone was afraid of Fueh because he had subdued numerous warriors that attempted to challenge his invincible strength in the past. Will Prince Jebo, the fearless warrior from the Kru ethnic group rescue the beautiful princess and make her his wife?

Join Dehkontee Artists Theatre on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at the Ibrahim Theatre, International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, for an exciting night of theatre and

traditional African history, culture, and literature. The production intersperses African dance, music, and dialogue to provide DATI’s audience a spectacular cultural event of a life time!

“Love for Mymah” is family and kids friendly, and its cast include some of the most beautiful talents from Liberia and the United States of America. Bring the entire family along to watch an exciting theatrical production that will educate and entertain you about the history and culture of Africa’s oldest Republic!

Published by the Public Affairs Bureau of DATI

January 14, 2018



Save the Date for Dehkontee Artists Theatre’s 40th Anniversary!

The Art of West African Masquerades1

The 40th Anniversary Gala of Dehkontee Artists will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at the African Cultural Center, 5000 Springfield Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143. The 40th Anniversary Gala includes: (1) a book signing ceremony of Dr. Joe Gbaba’s revised edition of Conflict Resolution and the Concept of Change; (2) 40th Anniversary Dinner; (3) talent and fashion show; (4) fundraiser; and (5) 40th Anniversary Ball.
Admissions:
Grand Patron: $100
Patron: $50
Ordinary: $25
Copy of Conflict Resolution and the Concept of Change: $30
Funds raised from the event will go towards Dehkontee Artists Theatre’s formal launch of its National Peace and Reconciliation and Cultural Awareness Campaign in Liberia in 2018. The fundraiser will facilitate the travel of the Executive Director and videographer to Liberia to launch DATI’s peace and reconciliation initiative; engage, train, and collaborate with local Liberian artists to promote peace and national unity through the performing and visual arts through radio drama series and live theatrical performances and the production of peace education literary materials. You can contribute through our official website: www.dehkonteeartiststheatreinc.com and click on the “donate” button to contribute through our PayPal account. You can also deposit in our Wells Fargo Checking Account #: 3931972677. Financial and material contributions made towards DATI’s peace and reconciliation program are tax deductible.



Let the Celebrations Begin: DATI Kicks Off 40th Anniversary at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in July!

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      July is the birth month of the modern Republic of Liberia established July 26, 1847. The naissance of Liberia marked the beginning of a significant political era in the history of Africa, the cradle of world civilization. Apart from being the oldest modern republic in Africa, the independence of Liberia as a sovereign nation on the continent of Africa disproved the doubts of the western world that the Black man was capable of self-rule. In addition, Liberia, along with the former Empire of Ethiopia and Haiti, the oldest independent Black nation in the western hemisphere, championed the cause of Black freedom worldwide, and the independence of the rest of Africa from western colonial rule. Hence, Liberia’s Independence Day, July 26th, is the time of the year when Liberians jubilantly celebrate with great pride their cultural and historical heritage as citizens of Africa’s oldest republic, and say to one another: “My Twenty-Six on you oh!” READ MORE


Dehkontee Artists Theatre Turns 40 on September 16, 2017: Meet the Pioneers and Organizers

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The number “forty” is a sacred code per traditional African Jewish belief. For this reason, many significant religious and solemn celebrations are observed using the number 40 to represent or observe numerous occasions or events during which God’s chosen people had a close encounter with him, or when they celebrate a ground-breaking event in their lives. Here are a few examples to set us on the sacred path to commence the celebration of the wondrous works Dehkontee Artists Theatre has produced through the grace of God and with the help of several individuals who worked hand in hand with Rabbi Prince Joseph Tomoonh-Garlodeyh Gbaba to put Liberia and Africa on the world map of history, religion, and culture, over the past forty year! READ MORE


Dehkontee Artists Theatre Programs and Services (2016-2017) 

Dehkontee Artists Theatre 2016 Spring to Fall Season Auditions and Schedule:

Spectacular Productions in the Limelight Focusing on Peace and Reconciliation and Voters Education!

Rabbi Joe Gbaba, Executive Director of DATI performing in his “The Minstrel’s Tales” as the Minstrel at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia in the early 1990s.

Rabbi Joe Gbaba, Executive Director of DATI performing in his “The Minstrel’s Tales” as the Minstrel at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia in the early 1990s.

Special greetings in the name of our “Glorbah” (heavenly Father), and the spirits of our forebears! They send you many kinjahs of blessings and wish us all good health and happiness! As all our fans and supporters join DATI’s staff to kick off our official 2016 Spring to Fall Season Auditions and Schedule, the Management of DATI would like to seize the opportunity to immensely thank our sponsors, patrons, supporters, loved ones, relatives, and friends who stepped up to make our programs a success thus far. READ MORE


Dehkontee Artists Theatre presents an African Children’s play entitled: “The Frogs and Black Snake in Frogsville”

“The Frogs and Black Snake in Frogsville”

Written and directed by Dr. Joe Gbaba

The frog Village

Venue: Bowie Center for the Performing Arts

15200 Annapolis Rd, Bowie, MD 20715
(301) 805-6880

Date:   Saturday, January 9, 2016

Show Time: 7:30 p.m.

Admissions

Grand Patrons: $50.00 plus copy of play as souvenir and VIP seating

Patrons: $ 25.00 and VIP seating only

Senior Citizens: $10.00

Adults: $15.00

Children: $7.00

*”The event is partially sponsored by a generous grant from the City of Bowie.”

About the Play

“The Frogs and Black Snake in Frogsville” is an African fireside fable and satire written by American Liberian playwright, theatre director, and actor, Dr. Joe Gbaba. The play seeks to educate and entertain the public about the cultural and historical values of Africa in general and Liberia in particular. It emphasizes the importance of unity among citizens of all nations: “The Frogs and Black Snake in Frogsville” teaches the principles of democracy, and informs about the essence of providing civic education to citizens with respect to the rule of law and good governance. Further, it aims to empower electorates to make informed decisions in the exercise of their franchise during elections period. The play is family friendly: it is designed to educate and entertain children and adults alike, and is filled with fun and excitement! Copies of both the short story and dramatic versions of “The Frogs and Black Snake in Frogsville” will be sold at the door for parents that would like to give a New Year’s gift to their children to introduce them to African literature and storytelling techniques. The narrative edition of “The Frogs and Black Snake in Frogsville” costs $ 25 and the drama edition costs $15.
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The production concept of “The Frogs and Black Snake” intersperses both traditional African ballet, music and dancing with state-of-the art acting and directing styles based on the Stanislavskian methods of acting and directing. Residents of Maryland and all those who get a chance to watch this drama during the New Year’s Season will certainly enjoy their money’s worth as there will be several celebrated traditional Liberian artists (dancers, musicians, and skilled drummers) participating in the production.

About Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI) and Its Different Genres of African ProductionsFrog-Play-Photo-to-Use-02

Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI) was organized in 1977 at the University of Liberia to educate and entertain the world about the rich and diversified cultures and histories of Africa. Since its inception DATI has performed several command performances for a wide range of audiences in Liberia and here in the United States. Some of DATI’s spectators include but are not limited to African Presidents and Heads of States (including President William R. Tolbert, Jr. of Liberia, Fred Akkuffu of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, and S.I. Koroma of Sierra Leone), and diplomats accredited near Freetown, Sierra Leone and Monrovia, Liberia, respectively; as well as the general public. DATI was incorporated in the State of Delaware as a non-profit cultural and educational organization in 1998. Recently, DATI has applied to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to revive its tax exempt status and hopes to partner with the Arts and Humanities Council and various county parks and recreation departments and school districts in the State of Maryland and other regions of the United States and abroad, to fulfill its vision and mission of educating and entertaining through cultural awareness.

About the Author

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Dr. Joe Gbaba is a Liberian American playwright, theatre director, actor, and educator and a household name in the West African nation called Liberia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Liberia (1980), and is a UNC-Greensboro trained director and actor where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Drama in 1983. He studied the Stanislavskian method of acting and directing under the professorship of Drs. Richard Mennen, Charles Bell, Herman Middleton and Broadway and Hollywood actor, the late Bill Wendt who appeared in several Broadway musicals and in the movie “The Godfather.” Bill Wendt also appeared in his first Broadway musical, “Milk and Honey,” after leaving the armed forces, and later appeared in “Kiss Me Kate” and “South Pacific.”

In addition to his theatre career, Dr. Gbaba is a Jesuit trained scholar. He holds a Master of Science in Education with emphasis in Elementary and Special Education and a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership (2000-2009) from St. Joseph’s Jesuit University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has also served as Principal of the Zwedru Multilateral High School in Liberia and taught English, Drama, Shakespeare, Composition and African Literature courses at Cuttington University, the University of Liberia, and many reputable secondary schools in Liberia, and was once Acting Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of Liberia.

Dr. Gbaba also taught in the School District of Philadelphia as a Special Education teacher (Learning Support classroom) and worked as a Child Protection Worker with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services for a decade prior to his early retirement in 2013. He is the self-published author of several books: Ah-zeo, Ma Garh; Conflict Resolution and the Concept of Change; and The Frogs and Black Snake in Frogsville. Theatre goers in the City of Bowie and its environs should expect a wonderful New Year’s treat from Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI) at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts come January 9, 2016!

You may purchase tickets for the show by PayPal by visiting our website and clicking on the “Donate” button @: www.dehkonteeartiststheatreinc.com. Inquiries can also be made at: (267) 973-1709; (267) 298-7249; (484) 664-8006; (610) 529-1576.