KWAMINA A Musical in Two Acts, 15 Scenes. Book by Robert Alan Arthur. Music and lyrics by Richard Adler. Dances and musical numbers Staged by Agnes de Mille. Settings and lighting designed by Will Steven Armstrong. 54th Street Theatre, New York - 23 October - 18 November 1961 (32 perfs.) STORY ACT 1 A country in West Africa, soon to win independence from British rule, is torn between its ancient superstitions and its yearning for freedom and democracy. As the curtain rises, a tribal chief, Nana Mwalla lies dying. Though Obitsebi, the fetish man, tries to heal him with magic, it is the white lady doctor, Eve Jordan, who is really responsible for the old man's recovery. The chief now goes ahead with his preparations for the imminent arrival of his son, Kwamina Mwalla, about to return to his home after years of medical study in London. The only ones who are a bit down-cast about this are the lovers, Naii and Ako, since Naii has been betrothed to Kwamina from birth. But Ako, who is the overseer of the local cocoa bean plantation, has work to do and he and his men go off to the fields. When Kwamina arrives, he is first greeted warmly by Obitsebi, his old friend, though friction soon develops between the fetish man and the medical school doctor. This, however, cannot dampen the enthusiasm of the elaborate homecoming ceremony. The local clinic where Eve works adheres strictly to the principle of segregation with one entrance marked "Europeans" and the other marked "Natives." When Kwamina arrives to take up his duties, he promptly gets into a fight with Blair, the British Commissioner, who forbids him from using the European entrance. Eve, who was born in Africa, tries to apologize to Kwamina, but he resents her expressions of sympathy and she objects to his stubbornness. When they have calmed down, they again make an attempt to be friends but this is blocked when Eve explains the necessity of compromising with Obitsebi. After another hot-tempered exchange, Eve makes fun of Kwamina's London-acquired manners. Tribal customs also have their humourous side. In the village Nana Mwalla passes judgment on Akufo, a tribesman suspected of adultery. His punishment: a fine of Seven Sheep, Four Red Shirts, and a Bottle of Gin. That night Ako and Naii meet in secret near the clinic. Because he sees no hope of their marrying, Ako tells of his decision to go off to the city and they leave together. Blair, escorting Eve to the clinic, expresses his deep feelings for her, but she rebuffs him. Later, she has her first friendly talk with Kwamina in his office, but Blair sees them together and suspects the worst. Later, everyone is gathered together and, with much excitement, the people sing of their coming freedom. Meanwhile, Eve finally convinces Kwamina that she is really his friend, but they both are aware that it is impossible for them to behave like ordinary people. At a bazaar in town, Kwamina comes across Ako selling saris and he buys one as a present for Eve. When Ako explains why he has run away, Kwamina offers no objections to his marrying Naii. Back at the village, Nana Mwalla tries to talk with Kwamina about marrying Naii, but his son refuses to discuss the matter. When they are alone, Obitsebi explains to the weary chief that they cannot escape from their fate. Eve and Kwamina meet in the woods. Not only does he give her the sari, but he even gives her his tribal bracelet. When he leaves, Eve is quite over-come with her feelings toward Kwamina. At the clinic, the troubled young people, unable to resolve their emotional dilemma, can hide their feelings no longer and rush into each other's arms.