Posted September 26, 2014 by Editorial Staff in Culture

AfroSolo Arts Festival 2014: Black Voices Performance Series (September 19 – 28)

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By Y’Anad Burrell

12345101-thomas-simpson-founder-artistic-director-of-afrosolo-theatre-company-in-sfThe seeds of AfroSolo were planted at the 39th birthday party of its Founder, Thomas Robert Simpson, in 1991. Actors, dancers, musicians and poets were invited to perform and with its’ success, Simpson was encouraged to repeat the experience in 1992. The 1993 event began the conscious dedication to use the arts to explore social and political issues, along with the cultural aspects of the gathering.

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Simpson with Dr. Stephanie Anne Johnson

I remember attending AfroSolo a few years ago but my memory is vague around the overall experience. I was certain, however, it was a moving encounter and something I wanted to explore again this year. Opening night, September 19, 2014 was an exhilarating performance by Dr. Stephanie Anne Johnson as she performed her world premiere of Every Twenty-One Days: Cancer, Yoga and Me, a story that told her journey about being diagnosed with cancer in December 2012. The shock of such a diagnosis for so many women sometimes leaves them lethargic. However, in Dr. Johnson’s case, telling the story with humor, energy, revelation and curiosity was one of the best exhibits I’ve seen of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for those living with cancer. I can’t let the cat out the bag when it comes to Dr. Johnson’s perception of Yoga but I will say I am considering taking a class or two or three. We experienced ‘Flash Light’ Parliament moments to the still and quietness of a hospital room during the performance and there is definitely much to live and breathe for even with a cancer diagnosis.

Opening night weekend continued with amazing performances by the extremely talented Lance Burton, the fearless Tarika Lewis and the riveting Kurt Young. Don’t miss out on this final weekend of performances, Saturday, September 27th and Sunday, September 28th.

And Go! – Read More from Y’Anad Burrell