Sight/Unseen: Black History Month at The Lir
Introduction by Joy Nesbitt
Black art has always been in conversation with itself on questions of viewership. How do I see myself? How does my community see me? How do strangers see me? As Irish theatre embarks upon a new awakening of interest in Black theatre, The Lir’s Students of Colour Collective, alongside Lir alumni and friends, have gathered together to perform excerpts from plays that unpack these questions.
We have created the Students of Colour Collective to explore artmaking as artists of colour in predominantly white spaces. As a collective of students, we are decolonising our theatrical education by taking it upon ourselves to explore texts by artists of colour which are often excluded from the western canon. Moreover, we aim to tell stories that explore the transformative nature of identity-making, including the joys and sorrows of the lives of people of colour.
As a new initiative at The Lir, we are presenting Sight/Unseen as the first event of what we hope will be a multi-event rollout of more inclusive and expansive theatre-making at the Lir. This empowering anthology performance explores the Black experience across the diaspora as Black artists fight to be seen on stages around the world. In today’s performance, we present to you, a series of excerpts from the writings of August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Amiri Baraka, Woke Soyinka, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Jeremy O. Harris, Aleshea Harris, Jasmine Lee-Jones, debbie tucker green, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Alice Childress. This is what it looks like when we make our work ourselves, but we hope that you will take this opportunity to imagine how much more powerful these works would be with a commitment of support from Irish professional theatres to produce work with our voices at the forefront. We are here. We are ready. The time is now.
Join The Lir in celebrating Black History Month through the writings of August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Amiri Baraka, Woke Soyinka, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Jeremy O. Harris, and other Black playwrights.
This empowering anthology performance explores the Black experience across the diaspora as Black artists fight to be seen on stages around the world.