dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Performance Installation
will have it's world premiere at

allgo: a Texas statewide QPOC organization
THANKS TO OUR 2018 MAP Fund Award. 

Join us in Austin, TX
8/17/18-8/25/18    DETAILS HERE.
Events will begin at allgo, and then there will be a procession to the Picture Box Studio.
Opening performance: August 17, 2018 @ 7PM
Sonja Perryman & Walter Kitundu will join Sharon Bridgforth
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

August 17 Saturday 7pm Performance and Installation with special guest Omi Osun Joni L. Jones

August 18 Saturday 7pm Performance and Installation with special guests Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Sangodare

August 19 Sunday 2pm Performance and Installation with special guest Shay Youngblood

August 22 Wednesday 7pm Performance and Installation with special guest La'arni Ayuma

August 23 Thursday 7pm Performance and Installation TBA

August 24 Friday 7pm Performance and Installation with special guest Krudas Cubensi

August 25 Saturday 7pm Performance and Installation with special guest G'beda

DETAILS HERE.

THE ROAD TO HERE . . .

I spend YEARS developing work. The process starts alone/with me writing...it then moves to work with collaborators...then audiences are invited in for various kinds of experiments...then work moves to productions/collaborations with producing partners...then to publication...Sharon Bridgforth
 

Developmental Processes For The Performance Installation Include:

Developmental Process and Sharing
New Dramatists PlayTime Development
11/5/15-11/20/15, New York City
Sharon Bridgforth and Sonja Perryman
Kyla Searle – Dramaturge
A.P. Andrews – Stage Manager

Developmental Sharing and Talk
Thousand Currents (formally known as IDEX)
4/23/16 at 3:30PM in San Francisco
Sharon Bridgforth and Sonja Perryman
Kyla Searle – Dramaturge
Leigh Gaymon-Jones - Catering
Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and the Urban Research Fellows Domestic Study Program, 
African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas at Austin – Crew

Developmental Sharing
The Sweetwater Sessions, Vol. 2 Curated by Ashara Ekundayo
at Omi Gallery, Impact Hub, Oakland, CA  5/24/16
Sharon Bridgforth

Developmental Sharing
allgo, Austin, Texas 10/9/16
Sharon Bridgforth

Staged Reading
Nia Witherspoon's Performance In The Borderlands
at Arizona State University 2/27/16
Sharon Bridgforth and Sonja Perryman

Collaborator/Developmental Process
Sharon Bridgforth, Sonja Perryman and Walter Kitundu  8/2017
Diana Alvarez - Documentarian
Chicago, IL.

Developmental Sharing
allgo, Austin, Texas 8/25-8/27 2017
Sharon Bridgforth
Black LGBTQ Queer Arts Revival "Service" Of Poetry, Church, Performance, Community,
Divinity, Gospel House Music and Storytelling
Curated by Marvin K. White. Featuring: Sharon Bridgforth, Omi O. Jones, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Julia Sangodare Roxanne Wallace, Gbeda Tonya Lyles, DJ Jam E.Z., Dora Silva Santana, Charif Shanahan, Marvin K. White, Lyndon K. Gill , E. Patrick Johnson, Krudas Cubensi

Development Sharing
allgo @ The Carver Museum, Austin, Texas  9/2/17
Sharon Bridgforth

dem Mermaids Listening Party
Thousand Currents, at Oakstop in Oakland, CA  11/18/17
Sharon Bridgforth
Salihah Saadiq – Documentarian
Lettuce Inn – Catering

Developmental Sharing
Wofford Denius UTLA Center for Entertainment and Media Studies, Burbank, CA 2/18/18
Sharon Bridgforth and Sonja Perryman
Omi Osun Joni L. Jones – Dramaturgical Curation
K. Bradford and Fy – Film Makers
Salihah Saadiq – Photographers
Fallon Christian - Assistant
Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and the Urban Research Fellows Domestic Study Program in Los Angeles,
African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas at Austin – Catering and Crew

The film below documents the first time dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Performance Installation collaborators Sharon Bridgforth, Sonja Perryman and Walter Kitundu worked in person together on the Performance Installation. This work happened during a four day intensive working retreat in Chicago in August 2017. Film and editing by Diana Alvarez. 

The Performance Installation is a collaboration between Sharon Bridgforth, her daughter Sonja Perryman and 2008 MacArthur Fellow, Walter Kitundu. During a long, ongoing developmental process Sharon and Sonja explored their family experiences and mythologies, experimented with interactive modes of engaging audiences, and determined that the Performance Installation would have stations including: Mourning; Clearing; Gathering; Blessing; and Oracles. 

Walter - a sound artist, installation artist, and inventor of original musical instruments that navigate the boundary between live and recorded performance - is creating everyday objects that come alive through engagement to activate interaction at the stations. Original music, oracle readings, and shape shifting objects invite audiences to build, share, hold space, witness each other . . . and therein activate a more humane and expansive/collective experience. 

Sonja and Walter collaborated to compose and record songs - that Sharon wrote during the early developmental processes - with Sonja singing, with Walter playing the music (on instruments that he built).  

Below is an excerpt of one of the songs: 


May 2018, Sharon is having a blast offering dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Oracle Readings, dem Mermaids Blessings and music from dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Performance Installation in Molly Van Avery's (Tiny) Poetry House in Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis. 

The film below documents the 2/18/18 developmental sharing (with an invited audience) of an excerpt of dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Performance at the Wofford Denius UTLA Center for Entertainment and Media Studies with support from Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and the Urban Research Fellows Domestic Study Program in Los Angeles, University of Texas at Austin African and African Diaspora Studies Department. Filmed & Edited by K. Bradford and Sarah Fylak.

 

collaborators

 
 
Sharon2.jpg

SHARON BRIDGFORTH is a Doris Duke Performing Artist, a New Dramatists alumnae and is recipient of funding from The Whitman Institute, Creative Capital, MAP Fund, and the National Performance Network. Sharon is a writer that collaborates with actors, dancers, singers and audiences live during performance as she composes moving soundscapes of her non-linear texts. A touring artist since 1991, Sharon’s work has been presented nationally at venues including: New York’s SummerStage Festival; Pillsbury House Theatre; Links Hall; allgo, and the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. An imagined dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Home performance is published in Imagined Theatres: Writing for a Theoretical Stage. MORE HERE.


WALTER KITUNDU: Walter creates kinetic sculptures and sonic installations, develops public works, builds (and performs on) extraordinary musical instruments, while studying and documenting the natural world. He is the inventor of a family of Phonoharps, multi-stringed instruments made from record players that rely on the turntable’s sensitivity to vibration. Kitundu has created hand-built record players driven by the wind and rain, fire and earthquakes, birds, light, and the force of ocean waves. In 2008 he received a prestigious  MacArthur Fellowship in recognition his work and creative potential. MORE HERE.

Walter Kitundu.jpg

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SONJA PERRYMAN: Sonja graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in drama, and went on to perform in numerous critically acclaimed theater productions throughout New York City. After working as an actress, teaching artist, and workshop facilitator for almost ten years, she received a Masters in Public Health in Community Health Sciences from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health in 2015, and recently worked with the Fielding School’s Diversity Committee, where she conducted research and helped plan numerous school-wide diversity initiatives. Sonja now works as Manager of Research and Development for Wise Entertainment, where she is thrilled to combine what she loves most: storytelling and research. MORE HERE.

 


dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Performance Installation is made possible by the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards programThe Whitman Institute, Thousand Currents Artist In-Residence Program, development support from New Dramatists Creativity Fund (a program made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), MAP Fund and is a Project of Creative Capital.