ROYAL FAMILY IS PROUD TO PRESENT
FEMALE FORWARD FESTIVAL
Revolutionary new works by women playwrights
Curated and Directed by Lorna Ventura.
Featuring new works by
Queen Esther, Rosa Arredondo, and Iman Schuk.
Resident Choreographer and Creative Associate Lorna Ventura curates our festival celebrating women playwrights. It’s no surprise that the works from this impressive roster of women represent a diverse set of issues, sparking a much needed dialogue.
Queen Esther: Blackbirding
After the transatlantic African slave trade was banned in 1807, blackbirding – capturing free African-Americans and fugitive slaves above the Mason-Dixon Line and selling them into slavery – was all the rage. Blackbirding uses sound, vision, and storytelling to recontextualize the concept, bringing it into the present. What happened in the 19th century (The State of Missouri vs. Celia) is juxtaposed against what’s happening now (Kalief Browder) until a wider net is revealed, drawing parallels to the Missing and Murdered Children in Atlanta and the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. to show that blackbirding never really ended, and that – then as now – black folk are criminalized and dehumanized for the color of their skin.
Rosa Arredondo: Journeys
Why would someone leave everything they know, to start again, with nothing? Journeys is an intimate look at the personal experiences of six immigrants, in their pursuit of happiness. Why they came, what they left behind and how their lives were changed, for better or worse. From the perspective of young and old, male and female, Journeys takes us on a voyage that is both, heartwarming, and heartbreaking.
Iman Schuk: This Open Earth
This Open Earth is a 75-minute play that encourages us to discover the rich texture of the relationships around us. It expresses the subtle but binding experiences and relationships that create the “community” we ultimately depend on.