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The Strong Breed

One Act, Short Play
12 men, 5 women
Total Cast: 17, Flexible Set
ISBN-13: 978-0-8222-1090-0

MIN. PERFORMANCE FEE: $40 per performance.
THE STORY: As outlined by Michael Smith: “The play refers to a folk tradition by which one person becomes the 'carrier’ of community evil and symbolically purifies the village in an annual ritual. The hero is Eman, a stranger who has come to this particular village to act as teacher and share his education. 'Those who have much to give,' he says, 'must do so in total loneliness.' On the night of the purification ceremony he learns that Ifada, a helpless idiot boy whom he has befriended, has been selected as 'carrier’ and victim; and he is driven by compassion to take Ifada’s part in the ritual. The crisis brings back memories. We learn that Eman’s father was a 'carrier’ and that Eman has fled the family tradition of symbolic sacrifice. We also learn of Omae, the young Eman’s betrothed, whom he left for many years to pursue his personal destiny and who died soon after his return. Now Eman accepts his past and discovers, 'I am very much my father’s son'—one of 'the strong breed’ who must take these responsibilities upon themselves—and at the end of the play is caught in a trap at the sacred trees and killed."
This powerful and moving study of native African rites and taboos, by the renowned Nigerian playwright. Produced on a double bill with The Trials of Brother Jero.

“…Demonstrates the complexity of the African soul with forceful dramatic conviction.” —The New York Times.

Included in the collection The Trials of Brother Jero and The Strong Breed.