Paul Calandrino Playwright
stage lights


Full-length play
Historical Drama

This new play explores the complex and evolving relationship between a world-renowned paleontologist and a political activist who would become Kenya's first president. Three significant meetings occurred between Louis Leakey and Jomo Kenyatta. In 1935, the two men argued publicly in London, ostensibly on the topic of female circumcision, but with deep cultural and political implications. In 1952, Leakey served as the court interpreter at the trial of Jomo Kenyatta, who was charged with the management of the Mau Mau insurgency. And in 1964, Kenyatta, president of newly independent Kenya, summoned his old nemesis, needing Leakey's intervention to help prevent English settlers from fleeing en masse and thereby plunging the country into economic chaos. These three meetings resonate as much today as they did then, raising issues of empire, rebellion, prejudice, and the dueling traits of altruism and self-interest in the human species.

Paul Calandrino