Black Girl
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The play reveals the complexity of carving out a self-defined identity as a black female in urban American culture. In a society that often portrays black women only in terms of their strength, resiliency or trauma, this work seeks to interrogate these narratives by representing a nuanced spectrum of black womanhood in a racially and politically charged world. With original music compositions, performed live by pianist Scott Patterson and bass guitarist Tracy Wormworth, Brown uses the rhythmic play of African-American dance vernacular, including social dancing, double dutch, steppin’, tap, Juba, ring shout and gesture, as the black woman’s domain to evoke childhood memories of self-discovery. From play to protest, the performers come into their identities, from childhood innocence to girlhood awareness to maturity—all the while shaped by their environments, the bonds of sisterhood and society at large.