For Black Trans Girls: A Choreo Poem
December 10, 2018
FOR BLACK TRANS GIRLS WHO GOTTA CUSS A MOTHER FUCKER OUT WHEN SNATCHING AN EDGE AIN’T ENOUGH: A CHOREO POEM
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10 // 7:30 PM - 9 PM
in the WOOLLY Mammoth Theatre
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Join us for a special reading of For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss A Mother Fucker Out When Snatching An Edge Ain’t Enough: A Choreo Poem by DC-based playwright and performer Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, and directed by Paige Hernandez. Inspired by Ntozake Shange’s iconic 1975 choreopoem, for colored girls who considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Edidi describes the piece as, “a celebration of Trans Women, Goddesshood, a lament for our fallen, a sword for our living and a challenge to white supremacy, structural oppression and any who would dare try to erase us from existence.”
The reading will be followed by a discussion with playwright Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, led by dramaturg Venus Di'Khadijah Selenite.
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH SHE THE PEOPLE
About the Playwright: Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi
LADY DANE FIGUEROA EDIDI, dubbed the Ancient Jazz Priestess of Mother Africa, is a Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American Performance Artist, Author (Yemaya’s Daughters, Brew, Baltimore: A Love Letter, Wither, Remains: A Gathering of Bones, Keeper, Bone, The Blood of A Thousand Roots, Incarnate, For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss A Motherfucker out When Snatching an Edge Ain’t Enough: A Choreo Poem, Solace), Teacher, Choreographer, Oracular Consultant, Spiritual Life Coach, Priestess, Speech Writer, Writing Coach, Advocate, Healer, playwright (For Black Trans Girls, Guilty, and Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem which will be receiving a world premiere at Theater Alliance in May 2019). She is also is the book writer and lyricist for Roaring the Musical about a Black Trans Singer and her family in the 20s. She is a Founding Member of Force Collision, and a two-time Helen Hayes Award Nominee (2016, 2018).
She is the founder of The Inanna D Initiatives, which curates, produces and cultivates events and initiatives designed to center and celebrate the work of TGNC Artist of Color.
She is the first Trans woman of color to be nominated for a Helen Hayes Award (2016), to publish a work of Fiction in DC (Yemaya’s Daughters (2013)), and to be chosen for Theater Alliance’s Hothouse Festival, having her play Absalom read at the Kennedy Center’s Prelude Festival.
In 2015 she received an emerging Leader Award for her work with the D.C. Trans Community and is the GLBT History Project’s 2018 receipt of the Mujeres en el Movimiento Arts Award.
She also costarred as Patra in the new web series King Ester.
She is coediting the Black Trans Prayer Book.
From Baltimore, Maryland, and growing up singing jazz, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi has been utilizing art as a tool for healing, revolution and collective liberation since she was a child, giving birth to several arts advocacy initiatives.
About the Director: Paige Hernandez
PAIGE HERNANDEZ is a multidisciplinary artist who is critically acclaimed as a performer, director, choreographer and playwright. Paige is also known for her effective fusion of theatre, hip-hop, dance and education.
As a master teaching artist, Paige has taught throughout the country, to all ages, in all disciplines. To date, she has reached approximately 10,000 students, from Pre-K through college, in over 100 residencies, workshops and performances. She has been recognized in many organizations including the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts and Arena Stage where she was awarded the Thomas Fichandler award for exceptional promise in theater education. The Huffington Post named Paige a “classroom hero” because of her outstanding arts integration and work with STEM initiatives. Paige was recently named a “Top Theatre Worker You should Know” by American Theatre Magazine and a “Rising Leader of Color” by Theatre Communications Group.
Paige is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and has performed on many stages throughout the country including DC: Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Fulton Theatre (PA), Ohio Theatre (NY), Manship Theatre(LA), Paramount Theatre (TX), Cleveland Playhouse (OH), The Wharton Center (MI) and many others. She has collaborated with The Lincoln Center (NY) and was commissioned by several organizations including the National New Play Network, University of Maryland and the Glimmerglass festival.
As an award winning dancer, Paige's choreography has been seen all over the world including Bahrain, Singapore, India, Jamaica and Bermuda. In the states, Paige's choreography has been seen at Imagination Stage (MD), The Kennedy Center (DC), Playhouse Square (OH), Alliance Theatre (GA) and at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (DC). She recently received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council as well as two Helen Hayes nominations for choreography and performance.
As a critically acclaimed director, Paige's direction has been seen throughout the country including The Kennedy Center (DC), Smith Center (NV) Glimmerglass Festival (NY), Santa Fe Opera (NM) and several Universities.
With her company B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT, Paige tours internationally with her original works including Liner Notes, The Nayika Project, 7th Street Echo, All the Way Live!, Havana Hop, PAIGE IN FULL and her hip hopera, Stomping Grounds.
B-FLY Entertainment, LLC
About the Cast
DEZI BING (Peaches) recently made her Studio Theatre debut in Wig Out, written by Academy Award™* winner for Best Picture Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by Kent Gash.
Other D.C. credits include: The Great Society (Arena Stage); The Legend of Georgia McBride (Roundhouse Theatre Co.); All The Way (Arena Stage); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Folger Shakespeare Theatre); Unexplored Interior (Mosaic Theater Company); Occupied Territories (2016 Helen Hayes-Award Winner for Best Choreography) (Theater Alliance); The Migration Series (The Phillips Collection); and the staged readings of Fences and The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Olney Theatre Center). Regional credits include Stage Directions at Penumbra Theatre Company and All Shook Up at The Ogunquit Playhouse.
Dezi recently completed a year-long Kenan Institute Playwriting/Acting Fellowship at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where she finished and workshopped her first two plays, The Peculiar Awakening of Riley Parker and PRIDE. Dezi trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Steppenwolf Classes West, and The Upright Citizen Brigade (Los Angeles). She would like to thank her friends and family for their continued love & support and Hawaiian pop sensation, Hoku, for making the song, “Perfect Day.”
LADY DANE FIGUEROA EDIDI (Didi), dubbed the Ancient Jazz Priestess of Mother Africa, is a Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American Performance Artist, Author (Yemaya’s Daughters, Brew, Baltimore: A Love Letter, Wither, Remains: A Gathering of Bones, Keeper, Bone, The Blood of A Thousand Roots, Incarnate, For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss A Motherfucker out When Snatching an Edge Ain’t Enough: A Choreo Poem, Solace), Teacher, Choreographer, Oracular Consultant, Spiritual Life Coach, Priestess, Speech Writer, Writing Coach, Advocate, Healer, playwright (For Black Trans Girls, Guilty, and Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem which will be receiving a world premiere at Theater Alliance in May 2019). She is also is the book writer and lyricist for Roaring the Musical about a Black Trans Singer and her family in the 20s. She is a Founding Member of Force Collision, and a 2x Helen Hayes Award Nominee (2016, 2018).
CECE SUAZO (The Unknown Woman) is an Actress, Director, & Playwright last seen in a reading of Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Oscar winning screenwriter of Moonlight) produced by Interfest/Harlem Stage, NYC. Prior to that, Ms. Suazo appeared in the Bay area premiere of Chisa Hutchinson’s play Dead & Breathing, produced by Theater Rhinoceros and the New York Times Critic's Pick Off-Broadway production of Street Children at New Ohio Theater produced by Vertigo Theater.
Her New York Theater scene credits include: Incongurence at New York Theater Workshop produced by Ivy Theater Company, This Ability (Beckett Theater), Translations (Liberation Theater), O, Earth (Workshop/Foundry Theater), Friends Of Dorothy (Shooting Lobster & Wow Cafe Theater), Verdi's Othello (Regina Opera Company), Hair (Brundage Park Playhouse), Julius Cesar (Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival) and Wig Out (Interfest).
Her television series appearances included: OLTL (ABC TV), Your pretty face is going to hell (Adultswim Network), Girlhattan (Karmaloop Network), and CityKids (Jim Henson/ABC TV).
In 2015 and 2016, she executive-produced Presence & Respect by Amy C. Morton and 2016 Helen Hayes Award Nominee Dane Edidi-Figueroa's one woman show Klytemnestra: A Epic Slam Poem, both at WOW Cafe Theater; and Dan McCormick's The Magpie Tree, Starring NAACP Award Winner Janet Hubert, at the Producer's Club Theaters. As a director, she had the honor to direct Tearrance Chisholm's off-Broadway production of A Month Of Sundays starring famed comedian Kerry Coddett from MTV's Joking Off. Cece has been featured in cover stories in Playbill, BroadwayWorld, and Backstage websites.
In 2018, Ms. Suazo was named The Advocate Magazine's Legacy Honoree.
KITA UPDIKE (Redbone Woman), who resides in NYC, is excited to be working in the DC theater scene for the first time. As a Chippewa and African American woman she is also thrilled to bring diversity to the stage whenever possible. Over the past couple years she has been honored to work with The Public Theater (Reckoning, Dir: Billy Porter,) and Westport Playhouse (Click). She also has spent time developing several new works such as The Village (Dir. Hannah Ryan), Fat Kid Rules the World, and Galatea by MJ Kauffman. Most recently she has completed developmental work on Initiative by Else Went, with Playwrights Realm.
Kita can be heard by audiophiles in the new narrative podcast The Horror of Dolores Roach, by Gimlet Media. The show, which was released in late October, stars Daphne Rubin Vega, and Bobby Cannavale.
About the Moderator: Venus Di’Khadijah Selenite
VENUS DI'KHADIJAH SELENITE is the author of trigger and The Fire Been Here, as well as co-editor of Nameless Woman: An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color.
Poet, writer, performance artist, editor, advocate, and sex worker, her work has appeared in publications such as The Tempest, Wear Your Voice, Autostraddle, and Rest for Resistance. Venus has performed at the Kennedy Center, the White House, Busboys & Poets, Anacostia Playhouse, Princeton University, and Wellesley College, becoming the first Black trans woman to present solo performance poetry at the latter two venues.
A 2017 Pink Door Women’s Writing Retreat Fellow, finalist at the 2014 and 2015 Capturing Fire International Queer Poetry Slam Festival, and a Bettering American Poetry nominee, she’s also had roles in two theatre pieces by Dane Figureroa Edidi, Absalom and the debut reading of For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss A Mother Fucker Out When Snatching An Edge Ain’t Enough.