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The Goddesses Guide: Adura for the Women of African Diaspora

ensemble theatre · self-produced · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by ROB ANGELL

June 29, 2018 certified reviewer
tagged as: divine · dreamlike · racism · sexism · movement · costumes

What I liked

It’s taken a few days of me stewing to really comprehend this piece. From its arresting opening tableau (think tricolor lighting and silhouettes) to the intense movement pieces to the fantastic performances to the intricate costumes, every second of Goddesses Guide is packed full with theater mastery. By showing three goddesses confronting modern mortality, Jenkins is able to tell a deeper story about the experiences of black women in the African diaspora. Sometimes dreamlike, sometimes metaphorical, sometimes all too real, the goddesses inhabit the bodies and lives of the women who might have worshipped them if it weren’t for the slave trade and colonialism. Brewster, Hunt, and Agoro execute their roles flawlessly, aided by Christopher’s mesmerizing choreography. Agoro was also the costume designer, whose work in that regard I cannot stop thinking about, and I’m not usually particularly preoccupied with costume. There are a few times in my life when theater has been a spiritual experience for me, and I felt like the Orishas were there with us at The New Collective.

What I didn't like

It’s been days and I can’t think of anything really concrete that could be improved. Well done!

My overall impression

Stunning costumes, powerful lighting, and masterful storytelling combine for a hypnotic spell that feels both grounded and divine.

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