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Devised & Directed by Sha Cage
Part of the Radical Experiments Series
#TESTIFY is an immersive, multi-sensory theater performance that instigates the line between fact and fiction, propaganda and politics, and race and class. It examines identity through the lens of
the absence of connection.
Sha Cage directs this devised piece in collaboration with Amoke Kubat, Jayanthi Kyle, Beverly Cottman, E.G. Bailey, Felicia Perry, Bill Cottman, Kiara Jo Jackson, Johanna Easley, Semaj Copeland, Alejandro Eduarte, Roza Brooks, Simone Williams Bernadette and Nioka Workman. Themes in this work include the politics of systemic racism, black and brown beauty, and historical cycles of trauma and healing.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sha Cage is a performer, writer and creator of new work. Her performance and work has taken her across the U.S, to South Africa, England, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Mali, and Canada. She is a co-founder of Mama Mosaic Theater (for Women), a recipient of a Regional Emmy, an Ivey Award, a McKnight Fellowship, and a distinguished Fox/TCG Fellowship. She has been named one of the leading artists of her generation by Insight, a Changemaker by Women's Press, and best solo performer by City Pages for her role as the pilot in Frank Theater's Grounded (2015 Ivey). Star Tribune called her a 2014 Mover and Maker and Mpls St. Paul magazine named her and artistic partner E.G. Bailey 2015 Power Couple of the Year. Her solo show titled U/G/L/Y was presented by the Guthrie in September and tours in the U.S. and UK through 2016. Shá is an advocate for sex trafficking victims and the proud mother of two. Noted theater roles include: Prince Hal in Ten Thousand Thing's Henry IV, Mamie in Penumbra’s Ballad of Emmett Till, Francine/Lena in the Guthrie’s Clybourne Park, Lizzy in Park Square's Mary T & Lizzy K, Agnes in Mixed Blood's Agnes Under the Big Top and Josephine in Ruined, Venus in Frank Theater's Venus and Hester in F^cking A. She most recently played the Liar in Park Square's Liar in September/October and the King of France in the Guthrie's King Lear.
E.G. Bailey is a filmmaker, curator and an Ivey award-winning spoken word artist. He is the recipient of a regional Emmy, LIN travel grant, and the Hughes Diop Knight Poetry Award from the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference. His work is featured in the Target Art Connects commercial, now archived at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC). His Film New Neighbors was recently featured in the Walker Art Center's Cinema of Urgency and he was an editor for the film Petting Zoo, which debuted at the 65th International Berlin Film Festival. Bailey’s latest work is the curation of America Now!, a special film project during the 2016 Tampere Short Film Festival in Finland, the Rigga Latvia Film Festival and Uppsala Festival in Sweden as well as curating MN's first African Film Festival SANKOFA in September 2016. Bailey has assisted and directed plays for well-known production houses, such as: The Guthrie, Pillsbury House, and Children’s Theatre. Titles include: Othello, Amiri Baraka’s Wise Why’s, Juno and the Paycock, The Brother Size, and Sha Cage’s N-Word and U/G/L/Y. He is the co-founder of Tru Ruts Endeavors and the MN Spoken Word Association. Born in Saclapea Liberia he resides in US with his family.
Roza Brooks is as a queer woman of color, activist, musician and spoken word poet. She uses art as a direct action to uplift her community and promote self love as a radical form of revolution.
Semaj Copeland is an ice-skater and attends elementary school in Burnsville MN. She has performed poetry at Refuge church.
Storyteller, Auntie Beverly, delivers wisdom of the ages by telling stories, folktales, and fables rooted in African and African-American traditions. Her storytelling sessions pass on values, celebrate culture, and invite the listener to join in the telling.
Bill Cottman is a projectionist and hosts Salon 365. He is host of Mostly Jazz.
Johannah Easley is a young up and coming artist here in the twin cities. She is known for her role as Akeelah in CTC Akeelah and the Bee. She wishes to spread beauty & serenity around the world in any form of art.
alejandro eduarte is a Mpls-based youth artist of color with a focus in solo performance. you will catch him critically thinking, questioning, and striving for restorative justice.
Kiara Jackson Theater credits: walking Shadow: Red Velvet. 7th House Theater: The Rhinoceros. Children's Theatre Company: The Last Firefly. Wonderlust Productions/Park Square Theatre: Six Characters in Search of an Author. Open Window Theatre: Everyman. Guthrie Theater: To Kill A Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol. University of Minnesota: Eurydice.
Jayanthi Kyle is a songstress dedicated to singing from the heart. She collects songs that speak to her struggle, empowerment and ability to be, change, and move forward while honoring the unremembered changers and movers of the past. She enjoys singing for people passing worlds being born or dying or passed. She refers to as arrivals and departures. She is in a number of bands and projects in the Twin Cities including Gospel Machine, The Give Get Sistet, Miss Pennie's Microphone, Bain, Romantica, Passed Presents, Black Audience, and Jayanthi Kyle and the Crybabies. She continues to work with The Million Artist Movement to dismantle white supremacy and support Black liberation. She also works with Mama Mosaic on a "Minnesota girls are not for sale" piece that has been performed for 8 years seeking freedom for women and girl sex slaves in Minnesota. People Power Change.
Amoke Kubat is a retired teacher, Yoruba priestess, and community activist. Amoke uses writing to speak truth to power and hold a position of wellness in an America sick with inequalities and inequities. She wrote, Missing Mama and the play, Angry Black Woman And Well Intentioned White Girl.
Felicia Perry....Is a Minneapolis-based ARTreprenuer
Simone Williams (they/them/theirs
Nioka Workman is an innovative cellist based in the Bronx, NYC from a family of celebrated bassists; uncle Arthur Harper (J.J. Johnson) and father Reggie Workman (John Coltrane), Nioka has worked hard to develop a distinct, original sound and style of her own. She performs regularly on acoustic and electric cello.
#TESTIFY is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
#TESTIFY is also made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota
A Part of Intermedia Arts' Catalyst Series