The stage for Birth Write was set like a makeshift living room, with chairs set around a low coffee table. With a kettle on the stage, the women made mugs of tea and passed them to each other as you would to family in your living room. Then they served tea to the audience, bringing a raw honesty to the intimate setting.
Each of the writers spoke in her own voice; their differences in style and personality were highlighted in the introductory poem presented by Tokeya C. Graham. In spite of, or maybe because of these differences, the performance had a smooth ebb and flow. Each performer spoke intimately of searching for recognition, self-identity, self-making, and a journey of understanding. The familiarity of the home-like setting and the kinship of the women invited the audience to engage with the stories the same way the writers did: snapping, clapping, uh-huh-ing, “come on girl”-ing and jumping to their feet at the most powerful and exciting lines.
My soul feels nourished and exhilarated. If you see me in the next few days, know that the glow in my skin is my own melanin shining a little brighter from basking in the Black Magic of Fringe.
“BirthWrite” will be performed again on Sunday, September 16, 11 a.m., at Geva Theatre Center: Fielding Stage. $15. Appropriate for ages 18 and up.