12:30 2:30 4:40 7:00 9:10
Wednesday, July 12 - Tuesday, July 25
DIRECTED BY ANDREW ROSSI
BASED ON THE PERFORMANCE WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY OKWUI OKPOKWASILI
Okwui Okpokwasili – actor, dancer, writer, performance artist, singer – stars in the one-woman show, Bronx Gothic. The New York Times called it “a mesmerizing and sometimes harrowing solo piece,” inspired by the performer’s Bronx childhood in the early 1980s: “Okpokwasili unveils, via crumpled pages of classroom notes, singing, movement and direct address, her semi-autobiographical tale of the Gordian knot between two 11-year-old girls…(laying) bare the love, trust, rivalry and rage between girls as they sexually awaken” (Tim Murphy, The New York Times). Rossi’s film lovingly embraces a performer who asks the audience: “Can I make all of you be born again as a black girl?” Just as Ta-Nehisi Coates’s writings demand that readers comprehend the dangers of being a black man, this artist’s riveting performance demands empathy for the poetry and pain of being a black girl.
N.B. Okwui Okpokwasili will premiere her new work, Poor People’s TV Room, at New York Live Arts on April 19 – 22 & 26 – 29. Details.
USA • 2017 • 91 MINS. • GRASSHOPPER FILM
Presented with generous support from the Richard Brick, Geri Ashur & Sara Bershtel Fund for Social Justice Documentaries.
Quotes are from the show, Bronx Gothic
“BRONX GOTHIC has dance elements and songs, but storytelling is its core. In language that is by turns blunt and poetic, crudely funny and incantatory, Ms. Okpokwasili conjures and probes… adolescent friendship, a jumble of insults, anger and love. And Ms. Okpokwasili is a magnetic performer. In a voice that can be confiding or terrifying and movement that can be ugly or sinuous, she holds the show together, lending her story unexpected emotional and physical contours.”
– Rachel Saltz, The New York Times
“A woman of many talents: she is an actor, a dancer, a storyteller, and a singer. No matter what she does, she is riveting.”
– The New Yorker
“Friendship, trust aggression, sex - lots of sex - spill over, still white hot. Every so often, Okpokwasili breaks into a spasm-filled dance or sweet melody. It’s not always easy to follow the dreamlike logic of her thoughts, but Okpokwasili, who has worked with Ralph Lemon and Julie Taymor, makes it impossible to look away.”
– Marina Harss, The New Yorker