Sunday, October 2, 2016

An August Occasion at Howard University

I am looking forward to presenting a paper for the August Wilson Conference at Howard University this month. I have been deeply inspired by Wilson's work since seeing Joe Turner's Come and Gone at Arena Stage when I was in junior high school in DC. I did not know that I would be moved to write plays years later then. But Wilson's rare gift for blues poetics and story-telling struck me in an unforgettable way in the dark house of the theater. I actually went into labor with my first daughter while listening to August Wilson speak about Seven Guitars at Howard University back in 1995. I didn't know I was in labor at the time, but it became very apparent later, after hanging out at a music studio into the wee morning hours. It's all intertwined. It has been a precarious alignment at times, but it has always made sense, if you know how funk makes sense, and if you know how blues makes all the sense, and the way life does if you choose that dance. And, of course, it's always special to return to HU - my alma mater, my former place of employment, the ground that knows every aspect of how my feet fall while walking. If you're in the area, come through ...

Monday, August 29, 2016

Video footage of ITAGUA MEJI: A ROAD & A PRAYER and trailer for GYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR

ITAGUA MEJI: A Road and A Prayer by Nina Angela Mercer, featuring Audrey Hailes as Aisha with Kimani Fowlin as Ori. Directed by Maya James with choreography by Kimani Fowlin. Percussion by Chris White.

Link to raw footage below ... This performance happened at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in Sept 2014. The choreopoem started outside. The audience followed the performers into the theater in a processional. The footage begins as the procession enters the theater.

ITAGUA MEJI link here:


And check out the video trailer for GYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR by Nina Angela Mercer. On camera and editing, Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Choreography by Kimani Fowlin. Featuring Dameka Hayes and Kimani Fowlin in video performance with Nina Angela Mercer giving Voice to her own words. This trailer was inspired by the full play, GYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR by Nina Angela Mercer, as it appeared at Dumbo Sky in Oct 2013 with Ebony Noelle Golden directing.

GYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR vid trailer:

Friday, August 19, 2016

I am full with the deepest inspiration. Why? Because this July I joined a collective of Black women artists and cultural workers to co-birth Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter. Simone Leigh, the brilliant Artist in Residence at The New Museum, generously opened up her residency to all of us. She has made it possible for us to build this collective action as an addition to her exhibition, The Waiting Room. And we are definitely making strong medicine, or as some of us say, "That Good Good."

Because ...

this July 2016 was a time of continued rage, deep sadness, and absolute frustration as our minds and souls rocked in response to state sanctioned violence against Black lives again. It was also a time for continued love and organizing for justice. What I could not have known was that this intense love for community would bring so many beautiful folk together in this way. But now I do know through experiencing it. And we want you to share in our offering Thursday, September 1st from 4:30pm to 8:30pm at The New Museum in NYC. RSVP at the link below. Thanks to the New Museum for supporting us with such integrity and vision!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I am looking forward to being a panelist and facilitating an interactive workshop at the National Black Arts Festival this year!

National Black Arts Festival 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
“Call and Response: Contextualizing African American Presence in the American Theater”
A partnership with Arts at Emory and Emory University
Tickets: $40 to include a private tour of the exhibition “Raising Hell: The Art, Archives and Activism of Camille Billops and James V. Hatch”
Goodrich C. White Hall, Emory University, Room 208
NBAF in partnership with Arts at Emory and Emory University presents a day long symposium with distinguished local and national scholars addressing the issue of the presence and influence of African Americans on performance arts and theater. Participants will include: Michael D. Harris, Artist, Associate Professor of Art Historian, Emory University; Krista Thompson, Northwestern University, author of Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (2015); McKinley Melton, Professor of English at Gettysburg College, whose research focuses primarily on spiritual and religious traditions throughout the African Diaspora and its influence on Diasporan literary, artistic, and cultural expressions; moderator Dr. Paul Carter Harrison, Emory Scholar/artist in residence, playwright, director and author of “The Drama of Nommo;” Nina Angela Mercer, playwright, poet, theater scholar based in NY City who will conduct interactive breakout sessions; Dianne Stewart, Associate Professor in the Emory Department of Religion; Dr. Pellom McDaniel, curator at Emory University’s Rose Manuscript and Rare Books Library and Playwriting Fellow Jireh Holder.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016