VOICES FROM THE EDGE Conceived And Directed By Rhodessa Jones Comes to the Gateway

VOICES FROM THE EDGE Conceived And Directed By Rhodessa Jones Comes to the GatewayTheatre Rhinoceros has partnered with Rhodessa Jones of Cultural Odyssey to mine Ms. Jones's material from her work with incarcerated women and women living with HIV to develop and rehearse a theatrical presentation focusing on queer-identified or lesbian women who are incarcerated and/or living with HIV. We seek to discover and explore the overlap between women who identify as queer and lesbian with the subjects of Ms. Jones's work, giving voice and space to queer-identified women who are incarcerated and/or living with HIV. Several Bay Area actors have been working on the material with Ms. Jones to shape the theatrical presentation. In early June, they will give 4 workshop performances of material developed thus far in anticipation of a full production in September 2018.

Performances are at Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson St., (at Battery St.) SF, CA 94111. All performances are free and open to the public. Voices from the Edge features Bay Area Actors: C. Chibueze Crouch, Olivia Dunn, Polina Litvak, Phaedra Tillery, Deborah King, Sharon James and Mikah Kavita.

Tech Credits: Fe Bongolan (Assistant Director), Theresa Dickinson (Movement Coordinator), Lisa Frias (Choreographer)

Performance Dates: June 4, 5, 11, 12, 2018 (Mon. & Tues.) 7:00 pm

Individual performance dates are:

June 4 Mon. 7:00 pm

June 5 Tues. 7:00 pm

June 11 Mon. 7:00 pm

June 12 Tues. 7:00 pm

RHODESSA JONES is Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed SF performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is an actress, teacher, director, and writer. Ms. Jones is also the Director of the award-winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and HIV Circle, which is a performance workshop designed to achieve personal and social transformation with incarcerated women and women living with HIV. Ms. Jones has served as a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth University, conducting lectures and workshops since Fall 2017. In December 2016, Ms. Jones received a Theater Bay Area Legacy Award presented to individuals that have made "extraordinary contributions to the Bay Area theatre community." In 2014, she received The Sui Generis Foundation Achievement Award for "one-of-a-kind contributions, which benefit society in unique ways".

CULTURAL ODYSSEY Cultural Odyssey is a leading SF touring ensemble committed to the creation of original work by artists of all cultures. The productions of Idris Ackamore and Rhodessa Jones have toured the world, building artistic, cultural, and political bridges on four continents.

THE MEDEA PROJECT In 1989, on the basis of material developed while conducting classes at the SF County Jail, Rhodessa Jones created "Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women", a performance piece based on the lives of the incarcerated women she encountered. During the work's creation, Jones and jail officials were made aware of issues that were specific to female inmates, such as guilt, depression, and self-loathing, which arose in response to feelings of failure in the face of community. These issues directly contribute to recidivism among female offenders. Based on this observation, Ms. Jones founded THE MEDEA PROJECT: THEATER FOR INCARCERATED WOMEN to explore whether an arts-based approach could help reduce the numbers of women returning to jail.

In 2008, The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women joined forces with UCSF's Women's HIV Clinic to create theater that explores what it means to be living with the virus in the twenty-first century. For the past four years, The Medea Project: HIV Circle has performed shows all around the United States, sharing the Truth and the stories of what it means to be female and infected or affected.

THEATRE RHINOCEROS - Founded in 1977, The Rhino is the longest running LGBT theatre in the nation. We develop and produce works of theatre that enlighten, enrich, and explore both the ordinary and the extraordinary aspects of our queer community. Our emphasis is on new works, works about under-represented members of the larger queer community, and revivals of lesser known queer classics. Over the years Theatre Rhinoceros has received many awards of recognition including: Theatre Rhinoceros Day in the City Proclamation from Mayor Gavin Newsom, State Assembly Certificate of Recognition from Senator Mark Leno, recognitions from Congressperson Nancy Pelosi and Assembly Persons Tom Ammiano and Carole Migden, numerous Cable Car, BATCC and TBA Awards and Nominations, and the GLAAD Media Award for Best LGBT Theatre.

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