– by guest writer Clarissa McKithen –
Four Women is not a performance, but a journey. Not a traditional play, but a glimpse into the multiple dimensions of black womanhood. This production was inspired by Nina Simone’s song with the same title that describes four archetypes of black women – Aunt Sarah, Safronia, Sweet Thing, and Peaches.
Four Women, presented by Wild Women Theatre, brings life to Nina’s poignant lyrics and gives breath to these characters, while also going beyond the context of the song and building new stories and experiences via original song, dance, poetry, and sketch comedy.
Four Women’s approach is like that of a piecemeal quilt. It brings together an array of fabrics and patterns and textures from the lives of black women and threads them into this beautiful piece of artistry. And just like that piecemeal quilt, it is cozy and full of warmth at times and at other times a bit heavy and uncomfortable.
But it is a treasure that you dare not throw away as it is crafted with love and has woven within its seams stories of pain, joy, passion, loss, desire, and more that must be passed along. Accordingly, Four Women may not fit the typical mold of “theatre.” It meanders through space and time and leaps gracefully from one narrative to the next; ultimately tying the stories together into one cohesive piece.
Wild Women Theatre is a new theatre company comprising founding members of the performance ensemble formerly known as The Saartjie Project. So, while we are a new entity, we are not new to the Capital Fringe Festival. In 2009, our show, Deconstructing the Myth of the Booty, wowed audiences and was one of “six intriguing picks” in The Washington Post.
by Clarissa McKithen, Farah Lawal, Jade Andwele, Jessica Solomon, margaux delotte-bennett, Nia McLean, Shonda Goward
at Studio Theatre – Stage 4
1501 14th St. NW
Details and tickets
This production is presented as a part of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington, DC non-profit Capital Fringe.
— Guest writer Clarissa McKithen is a research analyst, performer/dancer, and capoeirista. She is a founding member of Wild Women Theatre (and the performance ensemble formerly known as The Saartjie Project), which explores the multiple dimensions of black womanhood via song, dance, poetry, and storytelling. —
Fringe Peeks is part of our ‘in their own words’ series.
Nina Simone performing “Four Women” at the Harlem Cultural Festival, 1969