baldwin[GIOVANNI]brando is an immersive theatrical experience interrogating the way black bodies become mythologized-effectively removing the complexity and humanity of the lived experience in order to fit comfortably inside a heteronormative white social ideology. It is also an exploration of oppression and the complexities of normativity and otherness, by paying tribute to Baldwin’s work and his refusal to sit still.
Furthermore, it is a RE-membering of Baldwin through the collective consciousness of queer artists influenced by his work and live in his wake. The piece is a fractured and layered exploration of oppression and the struggle to connect through it. It’s a devised collaborative effort between two writers, two performers, Keenan and Baldwin’s writing. The piece explores Baldwin’s relationship with Marlon Brando, Lucien Happersberger and David and Giovanni, his characters by using the narrative of ‘Giovanni’s Room’ but centring Baldwin’s body inside of the narrative.
Words: Jay Stull and Johnny G. Lloyd
Featuring: Nile Harris and Stephen Wattrus
Design: Keenan Oliphant
Sound Design: Jacob K. Robinson
Dramaturgy: Annie Wang
Stage Management: Megan Webb
Producer: Sami Pyne
Studio @ Schapiro Columbia Unviersty
May 16-19 New York
Photography: Annie Wang