by Lucia Adams ©
In 1934 a famous American author fulfills a lifelong dream to go on a hunting safari in East Africa. Ernest Hemingway, accompanied by his girlfriend Jane Mason, has retained Baron Bror von Blixen, former husband of Isak Dinesen, as his white hunter.
Hemingway, brims with blood lust to kill a male lion in Act One, the ultimate personal achievement. Bror Blixen, a poor aristocrat, lives in the bush and must hunt to earn a living disdaining the publicity hound writer. In Act Two Hemingway is revealed as a coward, somewhat gender-conflicted, despite all the braggadocio and posturing in the previous act. He breaks the game laws to avoid being attacked by a lion. He and Blixen agree that they will say Hemingway shot and killed a lion, though Blixen, always anxious to please a client, actually did. The baron also utilizes his double cot to entertain Jane. In Act Three, after losing a boxing match to Blixen, Hemingway breaks down and reveals his true self, his self doubts, his fears, and the lie he has been living.
The play takes place in a 24- hour period in the African bush near the Serengeti with Kilimanjaro clearly in the distance. The scenarios are similar to those described in The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber , fictionalized accounts of Hemingway’s personal obsessions. The Safari is a language-drive tour de force, using actual spoken and written words of Hemingway, Blixen and Mason. Juma, the fourth character in the play, a Kenyan game scout and gun bearer provides another dimension to the colonialist safari experience. Further information: 312-640-9117; firstname.lastname@example.org