A New Performance Residency about Slavery, Justice and Freedom

2016-2017 Black Spatial Relics: New Performance Residency Artists-in-Residence

The 2016-2017 Black Spatial Relics (BSR) New Performance Residency supported the development of two new performance works that address and incorporate the public history of slavery and contemporary issues of justice. The 2016-2017 Black Spatial Relics artists-in-residence are ChE Ware and Jaymes Jorsling.

ChE and Jaymes Jorsling convened at The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island October 18-20th 2016 for three days of workshops, meetings, and studio development. During the Brown University Commencement Week (May 21-27, 2017), these artists presented their respective works.

ChE will presented workshops and performances within their work in Afro-Indigenous Liberatory Practice through their project #DignityinProcess. Jaymes Jorsling worked with Rites and Reason Theatre to develop and present his play Trippin Over Roots.

ChE (pronoun- they) is a Queer Afro-Indigenous artivist working at the intersections of youth leadership development, cultural equity consulting, and socially engaged artmaking. ChE uses the power of embodied storytelling and multi-generational ancestral healing to build sustainable models of leadership.  In 2010 ChE was the recipient of the University of California Irwin Award for artistic excellence, graduating with honors from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Art. In 2014, ChE partnered with Destiny Arts Center and founded the Art Liberation Troupe, a Queer & Trans* youth-of-color performance group utilizing dance, street theatre, and political education trainings as tools for social change. Applying an arts-centered, culturally grounded lens for liberatory practice, ChE was the lead organizer and facilitator for Oakland’s 2015 Breaking the Silence Town Hall: Teen Salon, an extension of African American Policy Forum’s national #SayHerName campaign. As a director/ choreographer, ChE’s work is robust with gospel sounds and soulful movement that leave feet stomping and hands clapping—fusing Contemporary Modern, Afro-house, and Congolese dance with interactive ritual and installation. ChE has been an artist in residence with Spirit Garden Productions, Press Street Gallery, Dancing Grounds, Destiny Arts Q.E.A.R., and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts—where they debuted Black Modern dance as an integrative form of healing. Currently ChE is developing a framework for Afro-Indigenous activism piloted through #DignityInProcess, a multi-disciplinary platform responding to the Black Lives Matter movement through Wisdom Councils, Art Actions, and workshops investigating intersectional identity evolution. Learn more at ChE-Art.Life

Jaymes Jorsling is a playwright and actor. His writings have been workshopped with The Classical Theater Of Harlem, LAByrinth Theater Company, InnerAct Productions, Hip-Hop Theatre Festival, Access Theater and others. He is a multiple times finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference, and he received a literary fellowship to the O’Neill in 2010. He has won a UCross residency (in Wyoming) and a Lower Manhattan Community Council Fellowship. He’s been a finalist for the Lark Playwright’s week, and been nominated for their PONY award. He has advanced deep into the Sundance Screenplay Lab selection process with three different scripts. He was commissioned by NPR/WNYC/Greene Space to write a radio drama for their BLIND FEAR series. Currently he is writing a commissioned piece for Duke University. This winning play for the Brown Residency, Tripping Over Roots, is part of his trilogy: Promissory? Insufficent funds! The other plays are Out Of Bounds and Love-Love and this trilogy addresses where America is headed, unless fairness and freedom become as inalienable as they obliged to be. Jaymes interned and worked in ABC’s EyeWitness Newsroom, and worked the graveyard shift in Bellevue Hospital’s Emergency Room. As an actor he has performed on many New York and Regional Theater stages. His television credits include The Wire, Law & Order, The Affair (upcoming), and other episodic shows for ABC, CBS, and NBC. He was the featured actor in Randall Dottin’s Student Academy Award-winning short A-ALIKE, and his film LIFTED. At The City College of New York, he made the Dean’s List, won the E.Y. “Yip Harburg” Scholarship for Academic Excellence, graduated Magna Cum Laude, and still holds their record for the most main-stage productions by a student playwright.

Black Spatial Relics is presented by the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) in partnership with Rites and Reason Theatre. The Black Spatial Relics residency is made possible with generous program support from the 2017 Heimark Artist in Residency Program.

About the Center for the Study of Slavery & Justice

The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) at Brown University is a scholarly research center with a public humanities mission. Recognizing that racial and chattel slavery were central to the historical formation of the Americas and the modern world, the CSSJ creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery while also examining how these legacies shape our contemporary world.

About Rites and Reason Theatre

The Department of Africana Studies' Rites and Reason Theatre is a research and developmental theatre dedicated to giving expression to the diverse cultures and traditions of continental and diasporic Africans and the vast Africana experience.