The Living Word Project, under the direction of Marc Bamuthi Joseph launches a national tour of ‘red, black & GREEN: a blues‘ (rbGB) with a world premiere on Thursday, October 13th at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. ‘rbGb’ is a collaborative, multimedia performance work that examines environmental racism, social ecology and collective responsibility in an era of dramatic climate change. The performance, which documents the process of producing Life is Living throughout the country, runs through October 22 with shows beginning at 7:30 pm. We at Youth Speaks hope to see you there, but in the mean time, check out this rave review by the San Francisco Chronicle.
October 13 – 15
October 20 – 22
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
San Francisco, CA
701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
A few blocks from Montgomery BART
red, black & GREEN: a blues (rbGb) is a full-length, multimedia performance work designed to jumpstart a conversation about environmental justice, social ecology and collective responsibility in the climate change era. Combining dance, text and visuals in a new mode of kinetic performance, rbGb reunites seven artists from the acclaimed work, the break/s: a mixtape for stage – writer/performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph; director Michael John Garcés; choreographer Stacey Printz; drummer/beatboxer Tommy Shepherd; documentary filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi; lighting designer James Clotfelter; and media designer David Szlasa. Joseph is joined onstage in the performance by dancer/actor Traci Tolmaire and vocalist/visual artist Theaster Gates, who is also designing the set. Also returning to the team of collaborators is costume designer, Mai-Lei Pecorari, who previously worked with Joseph on Scourge.
The creation of rbGb utilizes a dynamic research-to-performance methodology that yields community input as artistic resource material; specifically, the voices of people often left out of discussions about “living green.” This research has taken place through Life is Living–a series of community eco-festivals in urban parks nationwide featuring art, activism and education. Interviews, poems, films and murals from Life is Living are being translated into text, choreography and imagery that express the challenge of living green where violent crime and poor education pose a more imminent danger than ecological crisis, and that reveal emerging definitions of environmentalism in these communities.
Set into Gates’ malleable stage installation of repurposed building materials and clay objects, and heightened by Jacobs-Fantauzzi’s vivid films and vibrant graffiti murals from Life is Living, the poetry and performance in rbGb puts forward the idea that valuing your own life, and the life of your community, is the first step to valuing planet Earth.