La MaMa International Playwright Retreat 2021
Stirring da Roux
with Sharon Bridgforth
The goal of this workshop is to deepen our ability to fully embody and manifest our artistic vision by doing the work of unearthing/examining/and articulating our identities-cultures-memories-families histories-dreams, and the socio-political realities of our lives.
Participants will be asked to:
- Share work rooted in their identities: race(s)/ethnicities, genders, sexualities,
class, family histories, cultural/spiritual traditions, etc,
- Examine the personal as political
- Explore art as a vehicle for social justice
- Practice trusting their instincts
- Explore the relationship between art and their lives
- Consider the relationship between spirit and art
As part of the process of developing a new work, participants will be invited to respond to writing prompts and share their writing. We will explore creative process, virtuosity, improvisation, innovation, the art of being present, and deep listening.
“I believe that through the act of sharing our stories: of opening, of being present while being vulnerable, of revealing who we are/where we come from/what we dream…of trusting ourselves enough to push beyond limits of what we think we know, of following the roads that the right questions can take us on - strengthens our capacity to hear and see one another, to hold space for each other, to connect more authentically, be better artists, to create the lives we most want to live. Ultimately, sharing our stories is an act of generosity, and compassion. These are things we do to be of greater service. To be ourselves more fully. To Heal. We do this even if it scares us.” --Sharon Bridgforth
Dates of Retreat: August 12- August 18, 2021
A child of the Great African-American Migration, Sharon Bridgforth came of age during assassinations, riots, the civil rights, Black power movements and Soul music. She strives to queerly/embody the unbending dignity, commitment to community, self-determination and Love of Black cultures that was modeled for her.
A writer that creates ritual/jazz theatre, Sharon is a 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member and New Dramatists alumnae. A 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist, Sharon has received support from Creative Capital, MAP Fund and the National Performance Network. She served as a dramaturg for: the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative’s Choreographic Fellowship program; Maria Bauman-Morales's Desire: A Sankofa Dream; Ni'Ja Whitson's, Dark Matter Cypher Residency of The Unarrival Experiements; and Rebecca Mwase & Ron Ragin's, workshop of Vessel's at June Bug Productions. Sharon was writer and dramaturge for Ananya Chatterjea Dance Theatre's, Dastak; and she served as the Embedded Writer for Marjani Forte-Saunders’s Memoirs of a…Unicorn residency at Florida State University in Tallahassee at the The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography in partnership program with the Urban Bush Women Choreographic.
Sharon’s publications include: love conjure/blues and Lambda Literary Award winning the bull-jean stories. Sharon served as Anchor Artist for The Austin Project at The John L. Warfield Center for African And African American Studies, U.T. Austin. 2002 – 2009, and is co-editor, with Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and Lisa Lynn Moore, of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project. Sharon’s River See Theatrical Jazz Performance Installation script is published in Obsidian Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Issue 43.1; delta dandi, is published in solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews and essays; and The love conjure/blues Text Installation is in Blacktino Queer Performance. Sharon has been in residence at: Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program; University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Program; The Theatre School at DePaul University; allgo, A Texas Statewide QPOC organization; and Northwestern's Department of Performance Studies. Sharon is Host of the Who Yo People Is podcast series. More at: https://sharonbridgforth.com.