Writers and performers Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews have each spent time living and working in different countries in Africa. Gould was a Peace Corps volunteer in The Islamic Republic of Mauritania from 2001-2003. Griffin visited Uganda in 2005 on an aid trip. After that trip, he started an organization, UgandaProject, aimed at helping Ugandan orphans go to school. For the last ten years, Griffin and Gould have been visiting Uganda and supporting 10 Ugandan students while writing and sharing stories about the complexity of helping.
They created WITNESS UGANDA by gathering interviews from the staff and students of UgandaProject and began weaving music through the words of the people. With those interviews as the base, they wrote a script, based on their lived experiences, to create the musical.
MATT GOULD is a recipient of the Richard Rodgers Award (2012 and 2014), The Jonathan Larson Award, and ASCAP’s Dean Kay, Harold Adamson, and Richard Rodgers Awards. His original musical TV series, Insignificant, is currently being developed by TBS and MGM Studios with Eric Tuchman (Handmaid’s Tale) attached to executive produce. His musical Witness Uganda had its LA premiere at the Wallis, NY premier at Second Stage Theater, and its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard. The album of that show will be released in February 2022 featuring Cynthia Erivo, Ledisi, and Griffin Matthews. A film adaptation is currently in development, with Sharon Hall attached to produce alongside Robert O’Hara (who will also direct). His original musical Lempicka premiered at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 2018 under the direction of Tony Winner Rachel Chavkin, and will have its pre-Broadway run at La Jolla Playhouse in the summer of 2022. Other works include The Family Project for LA’s Center Theatre Group and Twilight in Manchego (Directed by Tony and Emmy Winner Billy Porter). Gould has written and arranged music for theaters around the country, and translated, adapted and directed Romeo and Juliet in Pulaar (Mauritania, West Africa.) Matt has performed around the world including Uganda, Mauritania, and Japan, and across the US. A graduate of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, Matt is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer at schools and Universities. Most importantly, Matt is foster daddy (and hopeful adoptive daddy) to two of the most magnificent young boys the world has ever known. @FakeMattGould
GRIFFIN MATTHEWS has emerged as one of the most sought after multi-hyphenate talents today. Coming off of a breakout year in 2019, Matthews has proven that he is an undeniable force, captivating audiences through his scene-stealing performances. Matthews will be returning to Season 2 in HBO Max’s highly anticipated drama series “The Flight Attendant,” opposite Kaley Cuoco. He recently played D’Unte in season three of Netflix’s hit series “Dear White People,” Matthews performance earned him instant critical acclaim, with the A.V. Club noting, “Griffin Matthews rightfully stakes his claim on every scene he occupies.” Mashable called Matthews a “scene-stealer,” while Vulture stated he gave a “breakout performance.”
Matthews co-wrote and starred in the Off-Broadway production of “Invisible Thread” (aka “Witness Uganda”), which details his journey founding the nonprofit organization, UgandaProject. As a director, Matthews staged the award-winning West Coast premiere of Witness Uganda at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. He directed Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr’s concert residency at the McKittrick Hotel in New York City and Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo’s holiday concert at the famed Apollo Theater. Matthews splits his time between Los Angeles and New York City with his husband and their two foster children.