Laurie Carlos

P.S. 122

Notably small in scale, Laurie Carlos’ theater drew its listeners into a storyteller’s circle, up close, within touching distance of the players. Each character was written and portrayed as if it were a “found” miniature in an air-tight Joseph Cornell box: given just enough detail to suggest the authenticity of autobiography.

In White Chocolate for my Father, created in collaboration with Urban Bush Women’s artistic director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and musician Don Meissner, Carlos directed seven women (including herself) in an exuberant and fast paced 80-minute work. Close to caricature, each of the women represented an exaggerated and recognizable slice of African-American female life: school-girl with pig tails, ‘southern mammy’ in apron and head scarf, matronly floral-hatted church-goer, hot urbanite in spandex pants, while one woman, naked and painted to resemble an African totem

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