Ain’t No Mo’ Content Transparency
In an effort to be more transparent, Woolly is now providing a fuller description of the plot and contents.
Content Transparency: This play contains discussion and depictions of gun violence, physical violence, national events of anti-Blackness, cultural appropriation, and carceral violence;, and mentions of anti-Black stereotypes, racial discrimination, police violence, abortion, terrorism, coarse language and racial slurs, and casual mentions of sexual violence.
Scene by Scene Breakdown
Prologue: In voice over, Peaches welcomes the audience members to the theatre, instructing them prepare for a “church” like experience. In a call and response, Peaches begins the show.
Scene 1. The Book of Revelation (November 4th, 2008): There are sounds of thunder and heavy rainfall. In a small church, a congregation of mourners meet before a casket. There is a sound of a gunshot. Pastor Freeman reacts but no one else in the room hears the noise. Pastor Freeman addresses the church about the death of brother “Rightotcomplain” following the election of Barack Obama. At the end of the sermon, a spirit consumes the room in song, dance, shouting and praise. The sound of celebration is overtaken by the sounds of gunshots. News reports stating crisis events and deaths of Black people. While the church folk continue to praise, Pastor Freeman is frozen. The sound of drums takes over as a magical carrier, Miss Bag, glides on to the stage.
Scene 2. Exit Strategy 1: At the gate of a crowded airport, Peaches walks up to Miss Bag and an empty flight attendant’s desk. Peaches is urging someone on the phone to hurry up and make it to the airport for the flight because there isn’t another choice.
Scene 3. Circle of Life: Damien, Trisha, and a woman are seated next to each other at a clinic. An announcer is calling “SisterGirls” by their numbers to receive an abortion. Damien is trying to convince Trisha to leave the clinic, but Trisha refuses. Damien brings up the ticket to Africa as an alternative. Damien insists she not have an abortion. Trisha demands he take his shirt off, which reveals 11 bullet holes covering his body. Trisha explains that she does not want a child who is destined to follow a legacy of death. A woman interrupts them. She tells Trisha this is her first time despite having three kids, two locked up and the youngest was laid to rest in Grover
Cemetery. The woman recognizes Trisha from the news about the death of #DamienMartin. Newswoman and Zamata appear on the TV. The Newswoman takes the stage sharing with viewers that she is at the scene where millions of Black women have been standing in line for 40 days to receive an abortion. The Newswoman interviews Zamata to understand her motives, noting that people believe this is a mass protest. Zamata says it is a demonstration of fear in a dangerous world that will go to any end to kill, or be, Black people. Trisha’s number is called and she walks towards the backroom ignoring Damien’s yell. The ground shakes while an airplane
flies nearby. The Woman suggests they hide under a chair in fear of a terrorist attack. Trisha exits the clinic.
Scene 4. Real Baby Mamas of the South Side: Four beautiful Black women sit in a ballroom with a camera and camera operator. Tony Logan introduces the women as “The Real Baby Mamas of the South Side” filming their reunion special. The special starts with a conversation about Tracy’s baby, Ryan, and the allegations about him being conceived by a turkey baster. Tracy shares that Ryan was conceived with Kool-Aid. Tony takes a viewer’s question about Tracy being desperate and taking bags of rapper’s sperm to sperm banks. Tracy refuses to engage and Tony shifts the conversation to her love life. Rachonda answers Tony’s question for Tracy in racially offensive language. Rachonda’s comment is questioned by the other women, heightening the tension to the group. Rachonda claims it was a joke, but the other ladies do not agree. Tony turns attention over to the newest member of the show, Rachonda, who documented their “transition” on the show. Tony shares that viewers were inspired by her bravery as the first “Transracial” cast member. Rachonda reflects on her journey and that she is uplifted by her new image, seeing herself as a strong Black woman. Tony shifts the conversation. The ladies discuss how many children they have. The producer cuts the take and asks the ladies to do another take and make some changes for clarity and continuity, such as the baby daddy count. The producer asks Rachonda to turn up the flare on the line “bitch, we all hoes” so it is more believable. Tracy, Karen, and Kendra express discomfort with that direction but the producer insists. Karen asks if there is a way that Rachonda could make her point without being offensive. Rachonda asks the ladies to back off and tension grows. They try to record this exchange multiple times with increasing tension and arguing. Tracy calls out Rachonda for knowing nothing about being a Black woman other than what trends. Rachonda suggests the ladies of the show are transphobic to her transition to Black. Rachonda goes off on a “Black” rant about her struggle and the ignorance of the ladies. Tracy rushes the camera and camera operator. Tracy slaps the camera down to the ground and begins scratching and clawing at it. Tanya yells as if she is in a reality show fight. The cameraman attempts to take her off until Karen joins her in attacking the camera. Kendra joins and is followed by Tony. They drag the camera across the room, beating it up. The camera begins to bleed heavy red blood. There is so much blood it is unclear where it is coming from. The Producer asks if they filmed all of it. Rachonda is stunned and out of breath. While everyone is breathing, we hear phone notifications, and all the cast members begin to check their phones one by one. All the ladies received the message from the government to go to Africa except Rachonda. Tracy leads the other Black women out leaving the Producer and Rachonda alone. The producer calls a wrap on season 8 of The Real Baby Mamas of the South Side and calls for a round of applause for Rachonda. The crew claps until the sound feels far beyond the set. Rachonda slowly joins in the clapping and slowly eases into a smile.
Scene 5. Exit Strategy 2: Peaches picks up the gate microphone at the airport. Peaches introduces herself and welcomes the passengers to African American Airlines at Gate 1619. Peaches turns the passengers’ attention to Miss Bag who is the carrier of the story of Black people in America as they transition to Africa. Peaches explains the rules of behavior on the flight. The captain of the flight is President Barack Hussein Obama. Peaches warns the passengers that once you scan in you cannot look back or your melanin will morph into that a privileged white man, your ticket will be revoked, housing denied, and you will receive no empathy. If you are denied, you will have no memory of your soul. After delivering the preboarding information, Peaches starts boarding passengers. Five hours later, Peaches is still scanning people on to the plane. There is a man with a problem with his ticket. Peaches tells him to face forward and step to the side as the problem gets sorted. She grabs him to stop him from losing his soul. Peaches lets him know that this is not going to be easy and talks about the hard things she has faced in life. Peaches tells him that this flight is an opportunity to start over and build something Black people can own. Abruptly, the man’s ticket issue is solved and Peaches proceeds ushering him onto the plane. There is thunder, lightning, and wind. “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones plays.
Scene 6. Green: In a family dining room of a mansion with a portrait of an older Black man with a scar on his neck, we hear the rattles of chains then silence. Marie and her sister argue, ending on the topic of the family home. Jonathan asks the group if they can hear the chains rattling from the basement. Marie shrugs it off. The family begins a conversation about the email from the government to decide whether to stay in America or go to Africa. Marie argues that they shouldn’t go to Africa and walk away from all the things their father built. The basement door opens, and Black enters. The family is confused and Susan questions Black. Black explains he is
Black. Black explains that their father locked him in the basement forty years ago, chained him up, and shoved dollar bills down his throat for food. One of his friends from BlackSpiritMeets.com told him that he must free himself to save his people and get on the plane to Africa. Marie refuses to go with Black since the family has decided to stay. The family refuses to let Black go outside and demands he return to the basement. The family receives a call from the next-door neighbor, Mrs. Harmon. Marie answers the call and tries to play it off that everything is okay. Black tries to get the family to leave with them. When Black tries to leave, Marie physically stops him, and then Jonathan helps her. The family kills Black. Black rises from the dead and attacks. They kill him again by stabbing him. He returns. They kill him again with a noose. There are police sirens and a loud knock on the door.
Scene 7. Untitled Prison Play: In the release wing of a prison, female inmates — Lakiesha, Judah, and Blue — stand with female officer, Officer Brown, waiting to be released. The inmates compare their food to the food that might be in Africa and discuss Africa. The inmates are impatient with the return of the clerk. While they wait, Lakiesha talks about her reason for being impatient being her child and family waiting on the other side for her. Officer Brown reminds Lakiesha that Blue does not have family. The Clerk returns and Lakiesha is given her belongings but there is one item declared missing that the state will send payment for. Her bag is light. She signs the forms and asks for hugs on her way out. Blue steps up to the Clerk and is given the items she had when she was arrested. Blue notices the bag is light, and her items are missing. Blue gets angry that she lost many things in her life. Officer Brown opens the door for Blue. When the door is opened, a blinding light comes over the stage. Officer Brown and Blue breathe together. Blue begins to laugh.
Scene 8. Exit Strategy: Peaches stands in the jet bridge doorway and asks Ladarius to save her seat so she can close out the flight. She types at the computer, grabs her bag, and slowly turns around to address the powers that be. Peaches lets them know that everyone is aboard the plane and money falls from the sky. Peaches picks up the money and stuffs it into her bra. She walks towards the runway and remembers she forgot to check the last bag. She turns to pick it up. She touches Miss Bag and there is a light shift, a soundscape, a djembe sings, there are screams of joy and agony. Peaches releases her grip on the bag and backs away. She takes a moment and attempts to lift the bag again. The same shift happens, this time we hear the voices of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, James Brown, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X. Peaches releases her grip again. Peaches urges Miss Bag to put some effort into moving. She tries to pull the bag again, this time we hear Mahalia sing with Lil Kim, Biggie, Huey P Newton, and Kendrick Lamar. As Peaches speaks, the room becomes more chaotic. Peaches tries to get Miss Bag to push so they can get on the plane and keep the powers that be from having Black culture. Peaches lets go and falls, exhausted. We hear a plane. Peaches runs to the window. We hear the plane take off. The plane left Peaches and Miss Bag. The bag replies, “Easy,” in the voice of a singing Nina Simone. There is thunder. The lights go out. There is lightning. We hear wind, screams, and Peaches yelling. The lights rise. Miss Bag has disappeared. Peaches looks up towards the powers that be and demands they return Miss Bag. Money starts to fall from the sky. Peaches fights the powers that be. As Peaches fights, her wig is taken, her voice deepens, and her clothes are snatched from her body, revealing the man behind Peaches. Peaches continues yelling for her stuff back. The money stops falling and there is thunder. Peaches stops fighting, realizing he is alone. Peaches looks toward the sky and begins to shake his head as the wind rises. There is heavy thunder. Peaches is knocked off his feet. The lightning strikes into a blackout.