Producer: WhimWham Theatre
Violinists: Rachel Lee Zhao and Eli Thomas
In Signage, a performance art work written and performed by janet e. dandridge, featuring poetry of New York-based poet Luis Cabrera, janet recalls exploitative practices endured by Black females in the Fine Arts and Entertainment industries. Throughout the work, janet undulates between script and improvisation, implicating the audience by questioning their involvement in the exploitation of her body, and more specifically, Black female bodies. As an essential element in her works, janet uses the personal empirical and collective "we" to address trauma, suggesting that when one person experiences pain, the human collective does as well, thereby urging everyone in attendance to reflect upon and dismantle the abuse, misogny, and racism that directly and indirectly impacts the lives of Black women.
For me, Signage is an 'open letter' to Arts institutions who take the aesthetics created by Black women artists and keep it locked behind doors, only letting it out when its to their corporation's benefit, reflecting the omnipresent horrors of misuse and dehumanization of Black women in the United States.