Will you contribute $50 to support theatre by and for queer Black women?

“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”  — Audre Lorde

Earlier this year, I wrote and produced a play called Tulpa, or Anne&Me that debuted at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

Since that first production, I’ve often been asked about what’s next for Tulpa, or Anne&Me. This is a great sign because it means that the play has touched people in some deep places and led to powerful moments of growth and healing for many. I feel a real responsibility to make this piece the best I can make it and bring it to as many places as I can where people want and need to see it.

Right now, I’m talking with someone who can offer me an opportunity for more performances in mid- to late April. Despite the fact that I’m based in NYC, there are still only a few plays by and about queer Black women being made. Although the world we live in wants me to be comfortable with feeling insignificant, I no longer have the luxury to deceive myself into believing that my work and my voice are not important.

I am raising $3,000 for the 2012 production of Tulpa, or Anne&Me. If only 60 people contribute just $50 each*, I can reach that goal. If only 60 people contribute just $50 each, my work will have another chance to do what it’s meant to do — pave the way for healing and transformation in our lives, relationships, and communities. If only 60 people contribute just $50 each, they will be doing more than putting a story on stage, but creating a vibrant opportunity to honor those of us who are Black and woman and queer.

Will you contribute $50 to be part of that process?

(* This rounds out to 1 person a day for the 60-day time frame I’m giving the campaign.)

Open discussion: Tulpa, or Anne&Me

I want to do something a little different with this post. Instead of presenting my own ideas and hoping you respond, let’s have an open discussion.

As most of you probably already know, I’ve written a play entitled Tulpa, or Anne&Me. I’ve recently done massive rewrites that better capture the way I imagine the story. You can find the most recent version of it on my LiveJournal, but there are ways to get your own personal copy*. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is the basic premise:

When Anne Hathaway crawls out of your television, what do you do? When the topic of conversation is race, how would you navigate the truth of your experience and the human need to make connections?

Through a series of connected visitations from the tulpa of the famous movie star, “Tulpa, or Anne&Me” blends reality and fantasy to explore what is usually hidden in the way we talk about race. Taking the vantage point of a Black lesbian with an overactive imagination, “Tulpa, or Anne&&Me” explores the effects of racism on the human psyche. Will she find a way to express and fulfill her desire for a meaningful connection? Or will the weight of history and pain of the present sever ties before they can be made?

What do you think?