I first attended Artscape when I was an undergraduate student at UMBC in the 90’s. I just remembered how large it was, so I wasn’t surprised when I recently learned that it was the biggest free arts festival in the country. Streets are blocked for the festival and several venues throughout the city offer programming free of charge to festival-goers. I randomly ran across a call for presenters for the festival earlier this year, submitted two ideas– my music stage show THE LYRIC MONSTER and my Image Theatre workshop that I draw from the teachings of Augusto Boal– and, awesomely- both ideas were selected for inclusion in the festival.
The theatre workshop was on Image Theatre and really requires participants to be open to the process. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of participants. Varied in age, ethnicity, and experiences, they worked together creating images depicting issues ranging from Immigration and Community to Coming-of-Age. Here are some pictures of their work:
I couldn’t have done all that we did without the assistance of some incredible help from sister artists I’ve worked with through Liberated Muse, Rayona Young, Colie Williams and Angela “Anonamas” Ballard. My family also assisted me tremendously, including my daughter, her big sister and dad.
The theatre workshop was at 2:30pm-3:30pm and then I had to high-tail it to the steps of MICA where I was performing as part of THE LYRIC MONSTER, a music improv act I conceived to spice up the standard music performance. THE LYRIC MONSTER consisted of me on vocals, Quinton Randall on guitar and Ramadan Yasiin on bass. The audience gave us random lyrics, chose a genre and the three of us came up with an arrangement and performed the song in less than a minute preparation. I had a ball! The crowd was rocking and encouraging and I was thrilled to see posts of our performances posted on Twitter and Instagram with positive reviews.
I am looking forward to appearing in the upcoming Humanities, Arts and Technology festival in Washington, DC on Sunday, August 3. Stay tuned for details.