Questions and Answers with SHSU Playwrite Oname Mukoro

The Houstonian: What is Undergrad about and how you came up with idea?

Onaome Mukoro: The Exceptional Men of the Talented Tenth, Inc. always toyed with the idea of putting on a production, but never acted on it. Our Alumni have put on plays before, so it has always been a possibility. We loved the general message of The Spike Lee joint “School Daze” and it inspired us with our plot. Undergrad: The Musical is our perspective on the college experience. It seems like in college there is a sudden thirst to define yourself and in doing so we join groups geared to our tastes. The play exposes how the process of trying to “better” yourself can sometimes have adverse effects. So, the audience will follow 3 freshmen students through undergrad and observe how their friendship is tested.

TH: How long did it take?

OM: All brainstorming and writing of the play consumed most of our summer. Well worth it though.

TH: What was the process of getting people involved?

OM: We held casting at the very beginning of this semester. Due to Hurricane Ike we ended up holding two different casting sessions. They were a lot of fun for us and those involved. It was cool to see our peers that would probably never get the chance to be in a play, much less audition for one, actually display their talent, or lack there of.

TH: What about rehearsals?

OM: Rehearsals started shortly after casting. We practiced in assigned hour blocks from 5-11pm every Tuesday. We started two practices a week in November. ALL practices were stressful in that Chris and I were there all six hours most times. It was fun though seeing our work come to life.

TH: What our roles were?

OM: Chris Davis and I really co-wrote the entire play. We were responsible for different parts of the dialogue. While I leaned towards more plot development, Chris, being a dancer and musically inclined, he was responsible for all song and dance in the play. He’s brilliant! Our audience will definitely be impressed and entertained!

TH: Any plans for future?

OM: No plans as of yet, both Chris and I are going to graduate soon so it would be hard for us to crank out another one before we leave. More importantly, I would like to be inspired to do another one, rather than just doing one, just to do it.

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