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Afrocentricity
X
Dramaturgy

Rooted in heritage and focused on the future, Afrocentricity X Dramaturgy (AXD) is an approach to the development of creative work that centers Black experience and interrogates White gaze. Drawing on research from Africana studies, theatre arts and performance studies, this perspective looks at the development of creative work as not just a process, but a way of understanding and interacting with the world around us and- more importantly- the world within us.

THE REPORTOIRE

Pictured Above: Afrocentricity X Dramaturgy at Carnegie Mellon University

Sparked by personal experience, rooted Black performance heritage and influenced by embodied practice, AXD first outlines a method, then theorizes on the futures and possibilities for the development of Black Art.

                We begin with a discussion around Black identity and posing the question: How Black identity can be centered when there are various Black identities? Once the Black experience is placed at the center, we then explore how doing so affects the way source material is accessed and understood. Finally, we bring in historical and cultural references that help us understand Black aesthetics as embodied practice. This encourages us to explore ways to connect with performance that have come before us and dwell within us in order to utilize self-discovery as a foundation for artistic choices.

                 AXD is born out of the critical need for performances written from an Afrocentric perspective to be analyzed, contextualized and developed within the same framework. Just as Black Performance Theory and Black Acting Methods are creating opportunities for diverse approaches to performance, an Afrocentric approach to artistic research and storytelling can do the same in the development and contextualization of those performances.

AXD Workshop- What to Expect

  • We will begin with introductions and intention setting.

  • There will be a cumulative 90 minutes of presentation and discussion on the foundations, methodologies and approaches to Afrocentric Dramaturgy.

  • There will be a cumulative 30 minutes of writing and opportunity create and reflect on how you can integrate these practices into your own work. 

  • There will be a cumulative 30 minutes of small group work (break-out rooms) for sharing, discussion and feedback.

  • We will end with a 20 minute visualization designed to center the self and test the theories around taking research off of the page and putting it into the body. 

  • There will be time for feedback and takeaways before we close. 

What to Bring

  • Water

  • Pen/ Paper/ Journal

  • A piece that you are currently researching. This could be in any medium (theatre, film, tv, audio). It can be something you are developing yourself or something that your organization or business is working on. 

  • For the visualization: Please prepare a comfortable place for you to participate in the visualization. This could be a comfortable seat, pillows and/or blankets. You may also want to consider lighting a candle or incense. 

  • An open mind and a positive attitude!

About L.J.

Lindsay A. Jenkins (L.J.) is a cultural consultant, dramaturg and producer based in Los Angeles by way of Dallas, TX. She is the Founder and Executive Producer at Maroon Arts and Culture, an organization committed to the empowerment of the global majority through the creation of safe spaces where artists and audiences celebrate the global Black diaspora, collaborate across mediums and create new and exciting work.L.J. holds an MA in Theatre Arts with emphasis on History, Literature and Criticism. She is a passionate artistic researcher supporting projects across mediums. Her specific area of research is Black Performance Heritage, connecting past performances to contemporary experiences. In addition to working one-on-one with clients, she has had the pleasure of working with organizations of various sizes including Center Theatre Group, the Playwrights Foundation, August Wilson House and more. L.J. is the recipient of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas Field Grant for her work with Afrocentric dramaturgy. She has been teaching yoga for 10 years and recently opened an online studio. The Body Is A Shrine combines her passion for yoga, meditation, embodied practice and, of course, artistic research. Learn more at www.LindsayAJenkins.com.

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