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Black History Month 2020

Black History Month 2020

  • Date20 October 2020

The School of Performing and Digital Arts in collaboration with The Centre for Contemporary British Theatre and The Student Workshop present a week of virtual events and theatre to celebrate Black History Month 2020.

Tuesday 27th October, 7pm Black Lives Black Words rehearsed play readings

The Student Workshop presents rehearsed readings of four short plays by Black Womxn from Black Lives, Black Words, an International theatre as activism project in which Black playwrights respond to the question: ‘Do Black Lives Matter Today?’ These plays explore how family members respond to the deaths of loved ones during or soon after contact with the police.

“So far Black Lives, Black Words has served two continents, three countries, seven cities, and have provided voice to over sixty writers, and have placed over 200+ actors on stage to help tell the world that, "Yes, Black Lives do MATTER!!!"”

YouTube link:

Wednesday 28th October 5.15pm – 6.30pm ‘Breaking Waves: Black Womxn in the Performing and Digital Arts’

Selina Thompson ‘Black Performance as Freedom Practice/Praxis'

Selina Thompson introduces her work, career and approaches to making performance, tracing the implicit and explicit of both race and racism throughout. She discusses her research and development processes, and talks about what it is that makes Black Art and Performance feel like a space of freedom for her: the sociality of the rehearsal room, and of performances, even when it is a one person show, or she is the lead artist. She anticipates new works in development, and touches on some of the tensions of maintaining this freedom in her practice when often it has to go out into the world via the conditions it seeks to challenge. Her talk will be followed by a conversation about Black performance politics and practices with Professor Lynette Goddard.

Selina Thompson is an artist and writer whose work has been shown and praised internationally. Her practice is intimate, political and participatory with a strong emphasis on public engagement, which leads to provocative and highly visual work that seeks to connect with those historically excluded by the arts. Selina’s work is currently focused on the politics of marginalisation, and how this comes to define our bodies, relationships and environments. She has made work for pubs, hairdressers, toilets, and sometimes even galleries and theatres, including BBC Radio, the National Theatre Studio and The National Theatre of Scotland as well as theatres across the UK, Europe, Brazil, North America and Australia. Selina has been described as ‘a force of nature’ (The Stage) and ‘an inspiration’ (The Independent). She was featured in The Stage 100 Most Influential Leaders 2018, awarded the Forced Entertainment Award in 2019, and her work Salt was named one of the riskiest of the century by BBC Front Row in 2020.

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