RETURN is the story of an African tribe, oppressed and persecuted by its neighbors, faced with extinction. Visitors from America discover them in the high Ethiopian mountains, living out their ancient traditions. They are the Lost Tribe, descendants of King Solomon and the black Queen of Sheba. Impoverished and humiliated, they are constantly threatened by government soldiers, who drag their boys into the army, vandalize their huts and steal their meager food. Now they have the opportunity to escape. The villagers agonize over the decision. The stakes are high, possible arrest and torture or even death, set against the chance for freedom.
RETURN is based on the true events of Operation Moses, when some 8000 Ethiopian black Jews were brought to Israel in a secret airlift. Events in the drama seem all too real, as they reflect the present day struggle of oppressed Africans, threatened with extinction and begging for help from a world community that seems indifferent to their plight. RETURN is a triumphant story of human courage and compassion Twenty two songs drive the drama, enhanced by dance numbers that are militant, sensual, compelling. Will Anderson’s contemporary score integrates African rhythms and instruments with modern hip-hop and rap styles and classical “big” Broadway show numbers. African percussion and stringed instruments merge with traditional Western forms, creating an exhilarating tempo that inspires movement and song.