Award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles, The Half-God of Rainfall) showcases the power of words as he curates and hosts a series of creative and thought-provoking events. This festival will bring poetry center stage and will coincide with our production of Ellams’ The Half-God of Rainfall.
REDACTED – Saturday, July 22 from 4:30pm-6:30pm
Blackout Poetry is created when text is taken from a book, newspaper, or magazine and by redacting words and entire sentences, hidden poetry is revealed. The possibilities are innumerable, and the room for individuality endless! Held before a live audience, Redacted is a fun, light-hearted, live-literature gathering, celebrating play and invention. The guests will debut their new redacted work, from which other guests will draw conclusions about their personality—wrong answers only! Audience members are invited to participate; each given the same text to redact, and a few chosen at random to share their poems.
SEARCH PARTY – Sunday, July 23 & 30 from 4:30-5:30pm
Pick a word, any word. Prompted by audience suggestions, Inua Ellams will search through his extensive archive of work and perform a reactive and spontaneous selection. Each show is unique and special. Inua is an award-winning performance poet, a charismatic host, a disarming orator and charming presence on stage. His literary works include poetry, editorials, monologue, speculative fiction, essays, screen-play, stage-play, radio-play, short fiction, epigraphs and more. Search Party is an interactive performance where, entirely led by audiences and their words, Inua dives through his expansive body of work to excavate everything from fragments of half-finished work to full essays; his searching mediations on identity, displacement and destiny—re-occurring themes in his work.
ANONYMS – Saturday, July 29 from 5:30-7:30pm
In parts of West Africa it is believed children grow to embody their names; that a child named Peace will grow up to radiate serenity. Other West Africans think this is rubbish. But how do we come to be named? What then do we inherit? Do names change us? Who cares? And why? Held before a live audience, Anonyms is a rich, exuberant, funny, insightful and poignant guided conversation on what we are called, and the stories they birth. The guests will generate questions for each other, and be given time to write and share their creative answers. Audience members are invited to participate; to come with the story and meaning behind their names.