WORK THE ROOTS
- The Essentialisn’t: Gold Taste
- May 29 - June 27
- Thursday - Sunday | 12 - 6pm
- *June 10, 17, 24 | 3 - 9pm
- Free with RSVP
- Last night, I dreamt I danced in the image of God
- Outdoor Installation
- May 15, 16, 22, 23 | 12 - 2pm, 3:30 - 7pm
- Free with RSVP
- The Reading
- Live Offering
- May 15, 16, 22, 23 | 2:30pm
- Free with RSVP
With: Belinda Becker, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Charlotte Brathwaite, Jennifer Chambers, Eisa Davis, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Deadria Harrington, Kamala Jefferson, Ayesha Jordan, Joie Lee, April Matthis, Jennifer Harrison Newman, Okwui Okpokwasili, Stacey Karen Robinson, Robyn Rodgers, Kaneza Schaal, Nzinga Williams, Amelia Workman, Kara Young, others, and you.
Throughout spring, AFROFEMONONOMY—a supergroup of Black femme theatermakers—takes over Performance Space’s theatres to explore themes of healing and care guided by the work of literary foremother Kathleen Collins. The artists–who have been collaborators and friends for years but never worked together as a group–use the residency as a sovereign space to translate the ease, free expression, and non-compulsory ethos of their informal gatherings to their working conditions and aesthetic.
WORK THE ROOTS introduces audiences to Begin The Beguine, a quartet of Kathleen Collins’ unproduced one-acts from 1984. Collins, a visionary writer, director, and professor with a prodigious output of films, plays, novels, and short stories, died of breast cancer at the early age of 46. Her premature death, mirroring those of writers Audre Lorde and June Jordan, begs the question of black women artists and their endangered health.
Along with Collins’ one-acts, WORK THE ROOTS also explores Eisa Davis’ The Essentialisn’t, in its overlapping concerns regarding Black women, art, health, and balance.
The four-month-long residency interacts with the public in multiple forms: a website broadcasts AFROFEMONONOMY’s investigations and process for a global audience, a synchronized world premiere of Collins’ texts takes place outdoors in locations in New York and California, and projected films and an installation with the occasional live sound interaction will unfold outside and inside Performance Space’s theatre.
Additional outdoor offerings of the Begin the Beguine One-Acts supported by Performance Space New York include: Begin the Beguine on El Barrio’s ArtSpace Front Lawn (May 15 and 16); Remembrance in lower Manhattan as part of Downtown Live, presented by the Downtown Alliance in association with En Garde Arts and The Tank (May 16, 22, 23); and The Healing at Herbert Von King Park (May 15 and 16).
Digital offerings created by the artists of AFROFEMONONOMY and supported in part by Performance Space New York can be found at http://www.eisadavis.com/afrofemononomy/
Please consider making a donation to Black Women’s Health Imperative, the first non profit organization created by Black women to help protect and advance the health and wellness of Black women and girls.
Afrofemononomy // Work The Roots is supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network, and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Co-production support provided by Deadria Harrington and New Georges.
Photo: Santiago Felipe
Pictured: Jennifer Harrison Newman in Last night, I dreamt I danced in the image of God.