February 2020

*..through various conversations, all stemming from sharing the world of By Me..

I found myself.. taken aback, that the transit of the work, and lead character's experiences, was felt as an undercurrent of trigger.. with the black creatives who read it; the reading having been experienced in a "too-late-aware!" of its slip down a ‘rabbit hole knit of roots' .. anchoring into the  ‘undiscussed’ in experiencing ‘caste’/'colorism', class, and the antipathy for any manner of ‘otherness’.. -in one's own family..

..more disconcerting was reflection that the play spoke an aspect of generational layers of challenge/reflex.. under a habit of leaving out memories from family oral history, so as to be able to “get on”.. -as drive towards a 'higher rung' of quality in life, and opportunity.. -all which cumulatively landed as wallop of context..

The disconnect in anticipating the extent of damage the work mined is truly steeped in earlier generations of people of color, challenged to succeed- resides as obfuscation, covering details, and dates, and choices which allow success.. -but which rend context of family history, and even individuals, from branches of a fame's tree..


*Out of the exchanges on this with my colleagues and friends.. and even a few members of my family.. it felt that the 'commonality of such undercurrent' was true weight of legacy in undiscussed corners of black culture.. - and, certainly, of my own family's culture towards black..

..In truth, there was no avoiding just how deeply triggering this work might be, not merely to black audiences witnessing the complicated of black contexts, but to black audiences members who might be in the midst of a diverse audience and spectrum of color.. 

..unveiling.. unmasking.. unpardonable.. undiscussed, out on stage.

*For all these reasons, and feeling the urgency to not only test the surmise, but the culture timing of this work.. I began to consider, how, in best manner of practice, do I have it engaged with as workshop..? With whom..? And in what manner, having no specific company attached to my work in general, and, in the specific: no director..

*Long time sounding board and colleague, Thembi Duncan, who was, in fact, first to alert me to the mulch the terrain of this work generated upon, agreed to bring a handful of artists together to have a go at an unrehearsed table reading of the script..

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