FORCE!an opera in three acts follows a group of Black women and femmes as they wait to enter a prison and escape a memory-erasing mold. Exploring the interiority and shared dream-spaces of characters with names like Down’N Batter’d, Rage-a Tha World, and The Blinding Light, this project explores what kind of relationships bloom in the shadow of the prison, imagining a strange sisterhood with the power to disintegrate walls. Force! is a sprawling surrealist opera blending the sounds of gospel, folk, pop, and contemporary experimental jazz, and is made with a majority Black, femme, and queer cast. Making experimental performance work about the feminist potential of the ante-prison with such a cast is not only critical, but powerfully healing. By exploring sound, movement, and dreams with one other we (those who are most impacted by these interlocking forces of oppression that the prison industrial complex runs on) put into practice the free world we have dreamt of.
Land Acknowledgement: The land in which I make my home belongs to the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe and Bodéwadmiakiwen Nations; as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Sauk and Meskwaki; the Kiikaapoi, Peoria, and the Očeti Šakówiŋ Nations; and other tribes.
Dancers from FORCE! rehearsing at the Graham Foundation | photo by: Ricardo Adame