by Michelle Peñaloza
Child, what could I say to you
so that you would understand?
This is and is not for you.
Now you say you're lonely.
You've cried the whole night through.
You are invited, of course, but
make no mistake: this house is our house,
not yours. A family is a hierarchy,
a house of strength and knowledge, past and present.
You think you know something? Do you
know your way in and out of the world? The storm
outside ain't gonna go away. This bitter earth
what fruit it bears. The president won't be your savior.
You need queen mothers—no shit and all riot.
Here we are. Within this mystic diner of our own making:
drink the whiskey of our own made milk.
Child, what could I tell you about being
black and queen and faggot and survivor?
What a difference a day makes. Find your own
answers on this...
Pictured: Randy Ford; photo by Andrew Russell
City Arts' Gemma Wilson on HOUSE OF DINAH:
We want everyone who comes in to understand that we’ve made a sacred space,” says House of Dinah director Andrew Russell, sitting in the dim light of On the Boards mainstage. “We’ve made a sacred space for black and brown LGBTQ people.”
Even pretzeled into a folding chair after watching Dinah tech rehearsal, the space still smelling of coffee and plywood, I get a sense of that sacredness. Behind us hangs a huge, floor-to-ceiling curtain, cutting the stage off from the theatre’s main seating area. Another stage...
by Imana Gunawan
For a lot of queer black people, living is surviving. House of Dinah shows the ways five black Queens are taught or have been taught to own their survival story and speak truth to it. As a queer, non-black person of color, it was an honor to be let in to the sacred space.
A smattering of thoughts during and after House of Dinah:
Tough love is necessary. Silence is golden. Don’t let anyone see you cry.
Like it or not, these rules were established for survival.
Family is complicated. Chosen families are maybe even more so. Often queer people of color are kicked out of homes or lose whole support systems after coming out. I wonder if elders in conventional white families are revered as much as they are in chosen QPOC families. Is there almost a personal responsibility to pass on the torch...
Pictured: Brace Evans, Kathya Alexander, Adé Cônnére; photo by Naomi Ishisaka
South Seattle Emerald's Charhys Bailey reviews HOUSE OF DINAH:
Only days ago, I was invited to write a review of House of Dinah, a deeply emotional and surreal theatrical performance about five intergenerational Black Queens written by acclaimed Bronx-born playwright, Jerome A. Parker, and directed by Intiman Theatre’s Andrew Russell featuring the work of Detroit-raised/Seattle-based choreographer and teaching artist, Dani Tirrell.
I had the...
Jerome A. Parker is a Brooklyn based playwright born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx. His work has been developed through readings and productions at the Public Theater, the Old Vic, the Cherry Lane, Classical Theatre of Harlem, the National Black Theater, BAAD!, Company of Angels, and the Los Angeles Theater Center amongst others. He's one of the featured playwrights, producers and artistic collaborators for the national theater project "Every28Hours Plays" to combat police brutality and activate communities - spearheaded by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the One-Minute Plays Festival. He'll collaborate with the Kennedy Center, National Black Theatre, Fahari Arts, Perfect Disgrace, and Artists Against Oppression for a national event to take place in October 2016.
Plays include: DIG (Fire this Time Festival); BALLAD OF SAD YOUNG MEN (Company of...
Andrew Russell is a director, producer, and writer based in Seattle whose work celebrates outsiders and "the other." He is the Producing Artistic Director of Intiman Theatre and in Seattle he has also worked as a writer or director at ACT, The 5th Avenue, ArtsWest, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Cornish College of the Arts, and more. Regionally he has directed with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Old Globe, Theatre Latte Da and NYC credits include The Public Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and more.
Read an interview with Russell here....
Dani Tirrell is a dancer/choreographer and founder and Artistic Director of Dani Tirrell Dance Theater/Color Lines Dance Ensemble. A teacher as well, he currently teaches Modern, House and Vogue throughout the Seattle area. Audiences may have seen some of Tirrell's extrememly personal dance/theater/film work dealing with themes of black queer identity in Seattle and the USA.
Watch some of Tirrell's work here.
Tirrell is currently an On the Boards Programming Ambassador. OtB audiences may have recently seen Tirrell as part of Markeith Wiley's It's Not Too Late.
Choreographer/performer Randy Ford is a Seattle native and a member of the Au Collective. OtB audiences may have recently seen Ford in Markeith Wiley's It's Not Too Late or performing with Au Collective as part of the 2016 NW New Works Festival. Ford studied dance at the University of Washington studying ballet, modern, and jazz, and visited Ghana to study African dance forms Kplanlogo and Pacha. In addition to performing with Au Collective, Ford works as a Recreation Leader for Seattle Parks and Recreation where he teaches beginning level dance classes at the South Park Community Center. See some...