TALKS: Tony Bonani Miyambo

Tony Bonani Miyambo performs in ‘Red Peter’s Way Out’.

Internationally acclaimed South African actor Tony Bonani Miyambo will perform the U.S. debut of his one-man show Red Peter’s Way Out this weekend at the Oakland Winter Live festival. The performance piece is based on the Franz Kafka short story A Report to an Academy, in which Red Peter, an ape from the Gold Coast, is captured, caged, and placed on ship to Germany. As a way out (and a “way out” is not to be confused with release), he learns to behave as a human would, to the point that he no longer remembers his previous life. Kafka’s story is often considered to be an exploration of freedom and (or versus) identity, as such literary critics have often pointed out resonances with slave narratives, religious and cultural assimilation experiences, colonialism, and (as explored in Red Peter’s Way Out) South African apartheid. Tony Bonani Miyambo talked to Arts in Color about Red Peter’s Way Out and his own experiences as Johannesburg-based performer.

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