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Female Forward Festival 2020


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

Performed Feb 7, 2020 @ 1:00pm, Feb 8 @ 6:30pm, and Feb 10 @ 7:30pm

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

Performed Feb 7, 2020, @ 7:00pm, Feb 8 @ 2:00pm and Feb 10 @ 4:00pm.
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

Performed Feb 9, 2020,@ 6:30pm and Feb 10 @ 6:00pm
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.

Queen Esther
Rosa Arredondo
Iman Schuk


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