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river see

by Sharon Bridgforth

Collaborators: Marie Casimir, Jasmine Johnson, Sonja Parks, Mankwe Ndosi, Ni'Ja Whitson, and Nia Witherspoon

Links Hall, Chicago, June 2014

A series of blues stories set on a river boat, with juking women, queers, deviants and Seers, River See is the prayer before the first Great African American Migration (1910). Experienced through the heart of, SEE, a young woman-in-training, we journey through a world where the living-the dead-the unborn/the past-the present-the future co-exist. Lil NayNay, Grandma-Aunt Porkchopps, Big Suzi, Mr. Goodies, Mrs. Shine, Ms. Ada and she ole ass dog Lil Lady shepherd the way. With rowdy spirit guides and loving elders, SEE grows into her calling as the answered prayer, as she is prepared to be sent to the North.

Sharon Bridgforth, the Composer, uses gestural language to communicate requests to the cast and the audience/to create a moving soundscape that supports SEE in her journey. The work is activated as jazz through this improvisational composition process that happens live during performance.

Supported by NPN Creation Fund Grant, and developed in collaboration with Links Hall, John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (UT Austin), Pillsbury House Theatre, Theatre Offensive, and the Rockefeller Chapel. 


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