Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival to present "I Know It Was The Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman,"
A one woman show written and directed by Tara Lake
NEW YORK, June 25 -- "I Know It Was The Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman" is an autobiographical, one woman coming-of-age story written and performed by Tara Lake about being raised by a Southern family which has relocated to the North. The piece will be presented for its New York debut by Theater for the New City as part of its 2019 Dream Up Festival August 25 to September 5.
Three performance stories make up the core of this production. The first gives a lively introduction to Tara's family, their spiritual and ancestral heritage and how these lead to her passion for music. Eventually, Tara loses this passion and doesn't reclaim it until decades later. The second follows a pre-teen Tara as she moves from the comforts of South Carolina to the dangerous, urban New Jersey where she is exposed to the toll of drug abuse and violence, but ultimately survives. In the third, the audience witnesses Tara's coming out as a queer woman and her family's transition from repudiation of their daughter's choice to marry her partner to love acceptance for her.
Interspersed among these stories are original poems, songs (including gospels and classically-sung spirituals), and performances of additional characters. Dangling in the pleasant tension between an urban, Northern world and a rural Southern world, audiences are drawn into a story-rich hootenanny. The play particularly centers the African American and Queer Community and magnifies the experience and history of the Great Migration’s lingering impact on African American families in the Northeast. It utilizes humor to address anti-queer bigotry in many Christian communities of Color. Ultimately, it portrays an African American woman who is proud to construct her own identity in ways that defy the limiting stereotypes and enforced roles of race, gender, sexuality, and class in the face of opposition from her family and community.
Tara Lake is a playwright and actress. "I Know It Was The Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman" won the Artists' Choice Award at the Chicago Fringe Festival before receiving accolades at the Rochester Fringe Festival and the Charm City Fringe festival. As a storyteller, she has appeared on numerous stages and was featured in a FIAT Cars USA advertising series. She has performed her original literary concerts featuring African American spirituals and art songs at a number of cultural institutions and college campuses. Lake is an alumna of the Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive and the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from organizations including the James and Sylvia Thayer Foundation, the UCLA Institute of American Cultures, the Puffin Foundation, and the Ella Fountain Pratt endowment. She is an alumna of Florida A&M and UCLA and holds master’s degrees English and African American Studies. (www.TaraLake.com)
THE DREAMUP FESTIVAL
The festival does not seek out traditional scripts that are presented in a traditional way. It selects works that push new ideas to the forefront, challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of how art illuminates the world around us.
In addition to traditional plays, a unique and varied selection of productions will again be offered, drawing upon a variety of performance genres including musicals and movement theater. The Festival's founders, Crystal Field and Michael Scott-Price, feel this is especially needed in our present time of declining donations to the arts, grants not being awarded due to market conditions, and arts funding cuts on almost every level across the country and abroad.
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Captioned, high-resolution photos of shows in this festival are available for download at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/8TM5hCWLmZbKzV4p9
The festival's website is www.dreamupfestival.org.