Courageous – An Interview with Actress Cashae Monya

by moxielicious

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MOXIE is thrilled about our upcoming production OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall which is inspired by astounding true events that happened in Kibeho, Rwanda in the early 1980s. Three young women claimed to be having visions of the Virgin Mary, who delivered a message to them which they were asked to give to the President of Rwanda and the Pope. That message eerily foretold the coming of something dangerous and violent in Rwanda. In 1994, just ten years later, the Rwandan Genocide unfolded and over 800,000 people were murdered. In 2001, the Catholic Church officially approved the apparitions in Kibeho as a miracle.

The first to see the visions was a young woman named Alphonsine Mumureke, who is portrayed in MOXIE’s production by San Diego favorite, Cashae Monya, who takes a minute here on the MOXIE Blog to tell us about her process getting ready for OUR LADY OF KIBEHO.

How did you get started in theatre?  

I did my first play, Romeo and Juliet, when I was 14 years old and I haven’t found anything since that has made me feel as happy and full of purpose. 
MOXIE audiences will recognize you from our productions of Trouble in Mind, Crumbs from the Table of Joy and The Bluest Eye (co-produced with Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company) What have you been in recently that people in San Diego may have also seen you in?

I was last seen in the La Jolla Playhouse’s “DNA Series” in a concert reading of “Miss You Like Hell” and “To The Quick”. 
Did you know about this event that happened in Kibeho before you read the play?

I was unaware of the events that occurred in Kibeho before reading the play. I had never heard of the genocide either. 
What do you think will be most challenging in working on this play?

I think the most challenging aspect of working on telling this remarkable story will be physicalizing the ways in which the girls witness the Virgin Mary in a way that doesn’t seem gimmicky. I do not want to cheapen the gravity of what these women experienced by looking like something out of a bad horror film about demonic possession. 
What do you hope audiences will take away after having seen it?

I hope the audience leaves the theatre knowing that a person’s value is not determined by monetary posessions, social capital or level of education but rather his/her ability to remain courageous and faithful in the mist of doubt and hardship.

See Cashae Monya and the rest of the cast of OUR LADY OF KIBEHO May 1-29 at MOXIE Theatre. Tickets available at or call 858-598-7620

MOXIE Theatre is located at 6663 El Cajon Blvd. Suite N San Diego, CA 92115.