For a three-week engagement at Brava Theater Center in San Francisco and it's Opening Night, y'all!
A few years ago I wrote in my journal ...
"My [artistic] mission is to assert my right to exist.
The importance of my story.
The acknowledgement of my presence.
Who am I?
Black. Fag. Nigerian. African. American. Immigrant.
Poor. Short. Lost. Uncertain. Uprooted. Pioneer.
Post Colonial (?)
Definitely Not Post Racial.
I wanna insert myself into the narrative."
As I open this three-week run of my one-man show, I feel like I'm taking a huge step towards achieving that mission.
Inspired by a series I wrote for Theatre Bay Area entitled "Acting While Black," TYPE/CASTE portrays the peaks and pitfalls of a queer black actor's journey through a profession that isn't always welcoming to applicants who are neither white nor straight.
I tell the tale through monologue, song, dance and drag, shape-shifting among 17 characters. I use humor, rage, and glamor to address the pressing issue of diversity and inclusiveness in the arts and it feels so exhilarating and healing to do so.
I premiered the show at a two-night run during the National Queer Arts Festival this June and am so grateful for the massive love it has received from audiences and the press.
Read Marke Bieschke's powerful account in 48 Hills of watching Type/Caste in June, on the night of the shooting at the gay club in Orlando
Or Lily Janiak's interview in the San Francisco Chronicle where I recall being told by a casting agent that the first role she thought of when she looked at me was "gangster."
Or Cat Donohue's profile in 48 Hills in which I break down how stereotypical portrayals of blacks and queers create a society in which their lives seem not to matter.
Or this piece in Ripple where I talk about realizing that my role in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness was as one of the animalistic African "savages" and not the white protagonist with whom I identified as a child.
I want to share Type/Caste with as many people as possible! Please join me at Brava before we close on October 1.
Get Your Tickets HERE
And if you're not in the San Francisco Bay Area please know that I hope to take this show on the road. I would greatly appreciate tips about presenters, producers, or educational institutions who could help me perform TYPE/CASTEin your neck of the woods.
Yours In Love and Excitement,