The aim of the research was to investigate the embodiment of feminism and race in a theatre setting, and how a dense and cryptic poetic text can translate to the spoken voice. It addressed the question whether it’s possible to replace these dense and cryptic texts with single lines, delivered by the characters on stage. Additionally, the research addressed the question of how the vast array of characters with poetic and emblematic names could be natural and understood.
I directed and designed the premiere of the play Non Sequitur by Khadijah Queen which premiered at Theatre Lab in New York City on 10 December 2015. The research methodology consisted of scholarly research; discussions; directing; design; rehearsal; performance. As part of my research to investigate more closely the embodiment of feminism and race, I used actors’ experiences of the issues, which informed casting and directing.
I found that using actors’ experiences of the issues did not necessarily translate into casting according to type, and in fact cross-casting allowed for deeper exploration and more complex embodiment. I approached issues of complexity in language through radical choices in timing and space. The apparently a-contextual scenes and text became likely and recognisable to the audience as proximate speech and address. Catwalk staging clarified the emblematic nature of the naming of roles as well as the momentary assuming of multiple roles.