July 14, 2021 by mojisolaadebayohotmailcom
Family Tree has by far been the toughest writing process I’ve had so far and also perhaps the most hopeful in terms of Black existence and Black futures. The material I’ve been dealing with over the past year or so, like so many of my plays, deals with some brutal content, in this one, specifically, extractions from Black women’s bodies and how this relates to environmental racism, the relationship between gynaecology and gardening, soil and cells and many layers more. However, it is also the most celebratory play I have written, certainly in form, and I know our Director Matthew Xia and the all women and non-binary team at Actors Touring Company (ATC), will make this play the most beautiful yet. Inspired by Henrietta Lacks and informed by the experiences of both enslaved women and Black workers in the NHS during the Covid 19 pandemic, this play is intended to get us talking and listening so I really hope you’ll be there, at this first work-in-progress iteration at Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, 2021, 27-30 August, 2021 (2pm matinees and 7.30pm evening shows), in the gardens of a former hospital. it is going to be amazing. If you miss Family Tree at Greenwich and Docklands Festival, there could be a chance to experience the full production and premiere at Young Vic theatre, who commissioned the work along with ATC, hopefully coming soon – watch this space! And if you are in Germany, I will be performing selected extracts from the play, entitled Leaves from Family Tree, focussing on Henrietta Lacks and themes of migration. Leaves is part of a commission from Counterpoints Arts and produced by Natasha Davies. Performances will be free to all and outdoors at ZK/U in Moabit, Berlin on 14 and 15 August at 7.30pm. I am delighted that I will also be offering a workshop in collaboration with Nicole Wolf (Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths) in Agri/cultural Practices as part of this Counterpoints commission, 12-15 August, alongside the performances at ZK/U This is an experimental workshop exploring permaculture ethics and principles and environmental racism, through Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. Click on ‘Family Tree’ below to book ATC’s work-in-progress performance of Family Tree at Greenwich and Docklands Festival in London and click below to experience Leaves and or to learn more about the workshops with Counterpoint Arts! Do contact these organisations for more information as I am unable to respond to blog posts at the moment. Though thank you for being in touch and thanks for reading! See you at the shows!