FOR BLACK TRANS GIRLS… to Receive Reading at Joe's Pub
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company announces that Laverne Cox, Woolly Mammoth, and Joe's Pub, a program of The Public Theater will present a reading of Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi's For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss a Mother Fucker Out When Snatching An Edge Ain't Enough: A Choreo Poem on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 6:30pm at Joe's Pub at The Public. The reading will be directed by Paige Hernandez and star Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Dezi Bing, and Kita Updike. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
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."
Woolly Mammoth Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes says "we originally shared Edidi's piece last year at Woolly Mammoth in a reading that blew the roof off our theater. It is a revolutionary act to have four black trans women share the stage - as revolutionary as Ntozake's Shange's landmark 1975 work that inspired this show. We are thrilled to share this bold and unique new piece with a broader audience. We hope other theaters will take note of these amazing artists!"
Laverne Cox - artist, advocate, and the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for a Primetime acting Emmy says "I am proud to be partnering with Woolly Mammoth and Lady Dane on this groundbreaking piece of art. For Black Trans Girls... delivers an empowering message direct from the trans community that many people need to hear. I am so excited to be lifting up this art and these artists."
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, and playwright (For Black Trans Girls, Guilty, and Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem which received 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). 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.
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. 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 Artists of Color.
In 2015 she received an emerging Leader Award for her work with the D.C. Trans Community and is the LGBT 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.
Dezi Bing 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.
She recently completed a year-long Kenan Institute Playwriting/Acting Fellowship at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where she finished and work shopped her first two plays, The Peculiar Awakening of Riley Parker & PRIDE. Dezi trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Steppenwolf Classes West, and The Upright Citizen Brigade (Los Angeles).
Kita Updike participated in the staged reading of For Black Trans Girls... in DC. As a Chippewa and African American woman she is excited to be able to bring diversity to the stage whenever possible. She has been honored to work at various institutions such as Reckoning (The Public Theater, Dir: Billy Porter), Click (Westport Playhouse), and It's Not A Trip...(The O'Neill Center). She also has spent time developing several new works such as The Village (Dir. Hannah Ryan), Track Girls by Bleu Beckford Burrell, and 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 2018, stars Daphne Rubin Vega, and Bobby Cannavale.
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, Ohio Theatre, Manship Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, The Wharton Center and many others. She has collaborated with The Lincoln Center 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, The Kennedy Center, Playhouse Square, Alliance Theatre and at Woolly Mammoth. 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, Smith Center, Glimmerglass Festival, Santa Fe Opera, 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. For more information, please visit: www.paigehernandez.com.
For Black Trans Girls... takes place at Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place, New York, NY) on Saturday, July 27 at 6:30pm. Doors open at 5:30pm.
Tickets to For Black Trans Girls... start at $20 and are available through The Public's box office. Visit publictheater.org online, by phone at 212.967.7555, or in person at the Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.