SHAFTED: The Blaqxsploitation Project
Itz 1970s San Francisco. In a hood bulldozed by “urban renewal,” an intergenerational, multigendered, pansexual gang of badasses – a rainbow of Blackness! – bands together to raise CLUB MYSTIQUE from the rubble of gentrification. The joint is jumpin’ with a crowd-of-all-colors-genders-sexualities singin’ the only home we have is the love we have for ourselves as they participate in SWEET SWEET BLAQ’S BAADASSSSS VARIETY SHOW. The communi-tay takes 1970s Blaxploitation flix like Superfly, Coffy, Blacula, Black Shampoo, Cleopatra Jones, Black Belt Jones, and The Spook Who Sat By The Door and turns them inside out in this night of interactive performance, music, dance, spoken word and film that gets down with SOUL POWER. Dress code iz 1970s disco, soul & funk, dig it?
SHAFTED features Star Amerasu, Brock Cocker, Sheila Collins, M. J. Isabell, Ernest Jolly, Dennis Jones, DaCarla Kilpatrick, Derek Lassiter, Mia McKenzie, Marc Scruggs and Anthony Julius Williams – with special appearance by Agatronica and Loan Hoang – and vinyl by DJ Lamont!
SHAFTED is directed and produced by Anthony Julius Williams.
This production be dedicated to anyone searching for home.
SHAFTED: The Blaqxsploitation Project
The Iruke Project
AAACC, 7:30 pm
$12 -$20 sliding scale
THEY CAN STEAL OUR NEIGHBORHOOD — BUT THEY CAN’T STEAL OUR LOVE!
The Iruke Project presents…
SHAFTED: THE BLAQXSPLOITATION PROJECT!
Agatronica is a Polish-American living in San Francisco. She started popping when she was 17 & started studying strutting & Bay Area dance styles after moving to California.
Star Amerasu is a young intelligent woman who has been a performer from the womb. She began singing as a child in a primary school choir and went to a fine arts academy for high school. She attended Cornish College of the Arts on a scholarship, and landed in San Francisco, where she produces and performs in Rising Stars, a monthly showcase for young performers at Progressive Grounds café. She has performed many different roles, crossing gender boundaries.
Originally from the Midwest, Brock Cocker is an Oakland-livin’ queer parade of one. His performance resume includes Femme2010, QWOCMAP’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, Kentucky Fried Woman’s monthly cabaret, NQAF’s Rally the Troupes and Flabulous! He is a proud member of CHUBB, a queer performance group that makes pudgy look sexy! Brock shows love for his community as a member of the Intergenerational Advisory Council of “Our Space”, a community center for LGBTQ youth in Hayward. Brock is delighted to be a part of this collaborative celebration of Blackness and how we honor those whose stories and experiences are rendered invisible in the name of “progress.”
After a long stage career on the East Coast, Sheila Collins is happy to have begun taking part in Bay Area theatre. She is proud to have been chosen by Lorraine Hansberry Theatre artistic director, Steven Anthony Jones, to read the part of “Tituba” in a recent reading of Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, Or The Devil Made Me Do It. Sheila more recently appeared in the Tides Theatre production of The Little Foxes in the role of “Addie.” A partial list of her stage roles prior to moving to San Francisco include “Ruth” in A Raisin in the Sun, “Joan” in The Guys, “Grace Farrell” in Annie, “Geneva Lee Brown” in 1940s Radio Hour, “Crooks” in Of Mice and Men, “Charlotte” in Charlotte’s Web, “Yenta” in Fiddler on the Roof, multiple roles in Howard Zinn’s The People Speak, as well as featured roles in several film shorts here in the Bay Area. Her passion and commitment to social justice is well served by her participation in SHAFTED: The Blaqxsploitation Project.
Ernest Jolly is an installation artist whose work investigates the human condition. His primary mediums are sculpture, sound and archival video. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Ernest’s practice is based in Oakland, California. He completed his MFA in Studio Art at Mills College in 2006. He has also studied at San Francisco State University and The Hungarian Academy of Art in Tihany, Hungary. In addition to his art practice Ernest is a Set Designer. In 2014 his set for Taboo and Heroes, Kiandanda Dance Theater, will premier at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Dennis Jones is a young artist and activist who promotes social change through community building and the performance arts. Dennis is excited to be performing in SHAFTED to display the parallels and intersection of Blaxploitation and current times through spoken word. Dennis can be seen working in the community and collaborating with many non-profit organizations such as Youth Speaks, LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation and Information center), 3rd Street Youth Center and Clinic, JVS (Jewish Vocational Services), Youth Leadership Institute, and Push Dance Company.
Loan Hoang’s dance career started from the moment she discovered the art of B-girling her first year of UCLA. Falling in love with the dance and culture of Hip Hop, she began to learn as much as she could. During her college years she was an active member of UCLA’s Street Dance Collective and has performed at countless campus events. Loan was also part of Westbound at WOD Pomona and J.U.I.C.E. Hip Hop Festival in La. Though her primary dance styles are b-girling and waacking, her dance is very much influenced by her background in Southeast Asian dance as well as the Thai and Javanese dance.
Marilyn Jane “M. J.” Isabell is a Midwest transplant. She grew up in Chicago on the Northside and spent her childhood listening to the neighborhood youngsters singing on the corner. Those youngsters became Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions. In her early teens, M. J. was a chronic run-away, a street kid, and a writer of poetry. In her late teens, she met a man who had a painting hung in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. That was the beginning of her art tutoring, she has received two Honorable Mentions for an oil and a pencil portraits, and a Second Place Ribbon for an art construction in a show with over 500 entries. After carrying a camera with her everywhere she goes for the last 30 years, she returned to school to attain a second degree in Cinema. She loves movies, especially “Film Noir.” For the last 12 years , she has used her camera to document the drug trafficking on the streets of the Tenderloin here in San Francisco via the internet – to free the “Hood” of drugs and create a safe environment for kids, senior citizens, and families.
DaCarla Kikpatrick is an actor, writer, and film director. She is Co-Founder of Dragonsday Films and Media and has independently directed and produced films for Brave New Films, Sundance Channel, BET, NBC, CBS, FOX, MTV, IAM and NAGtv. She studied theater at K-C Theatre Arts and Stella Adler, and has appeared in stage productions with Sidney Poitier, Jim Brown and Lesley Uggams. She has appeared on television in “Cooley High,” “What’s Happening?” and “The White Shadow.” DaCarla remains a passionate supporter of theatre arts and film preservation. She grew up on Blaxploitation film sets as a member of a family of actors!
An artist at heart, Derek Lassiter works in several different disciplines: music, photography, poetry and theatre. As a vocalist and musician he’s fronted bands ranging from rock to soul and jazz, intriguing crowds at popular S.F. venues including Slim’s, the Great American Music Hall and Café du Nord. Lassiter is currently in the studio completing his latest full length CD titled Music Outside.
Mia McKenzie is an award-winning writer and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a multi-faceted online forum for the literary and artistic expression of queer and trans people of color. She’s a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of fake fur collars and people of color. She’s a black feminist and a freaking queer. She studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the winner of the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award (’09) and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award (’12). You can find her short stories in The Kenyon Review and make/shift. Her debut novel, The Summer We Got Free, is a finalist for the 2013 Lambda Literary Award and has been described by author and critic Jewelle Gomez as “a brilliant tapestry filled with exuberance and anxiety.” Her recent live performances include Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance, Mangos With Chili Presents: WHIPPED! QTPOC Recipes For Love, Sex & Disaster, and Black Girl Dangerous: Mia McKenzie on Being A Queer Black Femme Nerd In A Ridiculous World, the last of those being a signature reading of her diverse works, performed at universities across the country. Her work has been recommended by The Root, Colorlines, Feministing, Angry Asian Man, and Crunk Feminist Collective, among others.
Marc Scruggs is an actor whose recent roles have included Terry, a reluctant “john,” in Scott Boswell’s indie film, “The Stranger In Us,” and Clarence in Outlook Theater Project’s original play, “This Many People.” He joins “SHAFTED” as an elder looking back at the explosion of “race films” in the 1970s, and will also be present as an elder in a tribute to Ed Mock, “He Moved Swiftly,” a site-specific performance traveling through multiple locations in San Francisco on June 15, 21, 22 & 23, 2013. A retired entrepreneur, Marc has volunteered in the Bay Area schools and served on the boards of the San Francisco YMCA and Bay Area Non-Violent Communication.
DJ Lamont Young
DJ Lamont Young has been spinning music for 33 years and has taught over 350 private DJ lessons since 2008 in his home music studio in the Mission District of San Francisco. DJ Lamont founded Fingersnaps DJ & Art Collective in 2002 to fullfill a need in the DJ community and art world where people can come together to share common interests, learn and gain support from each other. DJ Lamont has taught DJ Lessons and media skills at the YMCA, Hamilton Family Center, and The California Men’s Gathering. He has also taught with the San Francisco and Oakland Unified School District, and the Richmond Police Activities League’s after school and enrichment programs. DJ Lamont hosts a weekly radio show called the Fingersnaps Music Salon on community radio KPOO 89.5 San Francisco. The salon features a mix of Disco, Classic House, Deep House, NuJazz and Soul. DJ Lamont is a native of Waterbury, Connecticut.
Anthony Julius Williams is the Artistic Director of The Iruke Project, a multimedia theater production company devoted to exposing and exploring issues of human potential and social justice. Iruke’s first project, Blood Is Mere Decoration: A Ritual for Liberation, integrated interactive ritual, butoh dance, electronic music and video projections to examine the social consequences of mass incarceration. Iruke’s second endeavor, Shafted: The Blaqxsploitation Project, is a year-long exploration of the 1970s Black Cinema that includes a series of community film screenings, performance workshops, a fundraiser and a multimedia theater production. Shafted reclaims Blaxploitation films for America’s queer heritage even as it examines “urban renewal” and calls for Black self-love. Most recently, Anthony directed the sold-out run of The Witch House, a new play by Morgan Bassichis, at The Garage in San Francisco.