As with many writers who fall into that nebulous genre of "post-colonial literature" (which would technically include all American writing post-1776, if you think about it), Nigerian author, poet and playwright Wole Soyinka is fascinated with how time-honored customs are interpreted by outside forces. This interplay of native practice and outside intervention drives the Black Rep's presentation of Death and the King's Horseman at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square). The play centers on a Nigerian ritual in which the death of a tribal chief is to be followed by the ritual suicide of his horseman. The British colonizers declare the act to be barbaric and order it stopped, which throws off the cosmic order of the village and raises a host of mystical and political quandaries. Performances take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday (March 20 through April 13). Ticket prices range from $30.50 to $43, and there are discounts for seniors and students. For more information call 314-534-3810 or visit www.theblackrep.org.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: March 20. Continues through April 13, 2008