Developed during the 2nd year of my MFA program at the University of Georgia, Being B.A.D. is a piece about personal acceptance and redemption from the cycle of abuse. This piece explores the lengths in which one decides to take that power back after years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her family and romantic partner. 1 in 4. It’s not just a number, it’s a declaration for change.
Being B.A.D. is an example of the theatrical pedagogical term ‘Activist Theatre’. I adapted Augusto Boal’s Rainbow of Desire actor-spectator model and developed an open process where personal and audience experiences of gender and relationship oppression were the focus of the work. In the wake of the #MeToo and Times Up movements, this applied theatre work is relevant to our community in providing insight to a cathartic resolution and engaging in civil dialogue. This piece supplements the alarming statistics of ‘1 in 4’ women survivors of DV and IPV reported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) via the CDC, as well as, social and racial disparity, imposed gender roles, and continuing to raise awareness about domestic and intimate partner violence resources available to/for survivors and bystanders—especially on our college campuses.
This narrative-based solo was inspired by the unfortunate death of Karen Smith. A San Bernardino school teacher who was killed by her estranged husband after numerous accounts and reports to police about his violent history. I too am a victim of interpersonal violence and was drawn to the silent strength but also alarming numbers of African-American women overlooked on this topic and that needing a place to express that narrative of angst, hurt, but also redemption.
Methodological Approach(es): Solo Performance, Bruno & Mixon; Rainbow of Desire, Augusto Boal; Grotesque, Chekhov Technique; Narrative-based Storytelling
PERFORMANCES (Featured & Lead Artist)
Each performance had community outreach elements including a talkback discussion about the narrative-based solo performance and the artistic process of developing and performing Being B.A.D.
Harris, B. S. Embodying Redemption Through Theatre: Performing Being B.A.D.
Check out this teaser of Being B.A.D., a solo performance, performed and written by Brittney S. Harris.