On Trial is a One Act play set in a courtroom and presents the trial of Athena, portrayed as one of the last old, matriarch elephants left in Tsavo, Kenya’s largest national park. Athena is charged with murder.
The premise for the play is that Athena, the matriarch elephant, has attacked and killed a young boy of four years old. The boy was with his mother while she was working on the shamba (vegetable farming lands) on the edge of his village.
The case might appear clear cut, but as the witnesses are called forward to testify, a complex story unfolds, illustrating the complex and often tragic conflict which is progressively the norm in areas adjoining national parks in Africa.
Is Athena guilty of murder? Is this a case of manslaughter? Or is she innocent, the child’s death being a tragic accident, a result of mitigating circumstances out of her control and does the responsibility for this death lie elsewhere, possibly with man? You, the Audience-Jury must decide!
It offers a fascinating opportunity to experience the power of theatre and be immersed in the complex challenges facing the co-existence of man and elephants in Kenya today.