OYSTERKNIFE—a name derived from Zora Neale Hurston’s essay “How It Feels To Be a Colored Me”—was formed in late 2017 out of a longtime creative friendship between Gabriele Christian and Chibueze Crouch. Nourishing a desire to subvert their collegiate theatrical training, which often ignored the complex Afro-Diasporic queer experiences, they found that interdisciplinary, somatic-based, experimental approaches made for fuller work, allowing them to interrogate sociohistorical norms and institutions while freeing their bodies.
Both members of OYSTERKNIFE bring a wealth of creative experiences, meshing theater, ritual masquerade, video, extemporaneous movement, song, and text. Central to every work they co-create are: an attention to archives (documenting the voices both seen and unseen), collectivism (who is here and who is missing that we need to invite), and multimedia immersion (seamlessly blending disciplines and breaking the audience/performer divide).
They have produced three full-length shows in the Bay: “mouth full of sea” dug into presumptions around complicity in the transatlantic slave trade; “mouth//full” excavated BlaQ testimony and African indigenous spiritual practices in the Christian Church; and the site-specific “Time of Change” narratively reanimated the majority Black Haight-Ashbury neighborhood that was eclipsed by the counterculture movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Jan 28, 2-4:30pm – BlaQ Benedictions Workshop with brontë velez: black rapture – performance, discussion and storytelling
Feb 2-4, mouf//full PerformancesSupport the show
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