Sacred Revolution/ Sweet Release
Directed By Veronica C. Combs
Thurs. & Fri., June 17 & 18, 2004. 8pm
Sat., June 19 – 3pm & 8pm
Sun., June 20 – 2pm & 7pm.
Thurs. & Fri., June 24 & 25 – 8pm
Sat., June 26- 2pm.
*Post-show discussions will follow performances on Saturday, June 19, 8pm and Friday, June 25, 8pm.
Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th Street, San Francisco,
General Admission Tix: Advance $18, $13 students/seniors (60+) w/ID & disabled.
Door $23, $17 students/seniors (60+) w/ID & disabled
Photo: Tyler Jacobsen Photographs
In The liquidFIRE Project’s production of Sacred Revolution/ Sweet Release, 13 lesbian and queer women of color confront and overcome the negative and oppressive voices that keep us from having “pleasure” in our lives. Embarking on a courageous and powerful journey, these women travel the road of rage, pain, and self-effacement only to emerge on the mountain top as sexy, fearless beings reveling in utter ecstasy! This collaborative theatre production features original music, song, dance, storytelling, poetry, unspoken interpretation and more! Get ready to be moved beyond your deepest fears, wildest dreams, and sexiest fantasies!
Sacred Revolution/ Sweet Release features a music and sound score by Melissa Dougherty; Vocal and Music Direction by Lindasusan Ulrich; Assistant Direction by Aviance Rhome; and Lighting Design by Shady Lady Lighting. The liquidFIRE Project and liquidFIRE Productions are supported by the Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice, Horizons Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, The Women’s Foundation of California, Jon Sims Center for the Arts, and Queer Cultural Center. All make-up provided by MAC Cosmetics.
The cast includes Anissa Michelle Primus Alston, Britt Anderson, Lynn Bolton, April Frederick, Marilyn C. Malone, Celestina Pearl, Danielle Richardson, Donna Sabbatani, Lolan Sevilla, Roopa Singh, Olivia Wang and Exodus Williams.
About The liquidFIRE Project
The liquidFIRE Project is a 5-month collaborative process in which a group of lesbians of color explore, reclaim and celebrate the power of the erotic. The participants are diverse in age, religion, race and profession, as well as body shapes and sizes. They participate in a series of workshops that include trust and vulnerability exercises, drumming rituals, dance and movement, vocal music, storytelling, theatre games and writing exercises that foster creative visualization, examination and effective performance skills. Participants’ memories and personal stories are then transformed into solo and ensemble multidisciplinary pieces depicting the subtle-and not so subtle-role that eroticism plays in shaping the lesbian of color experience. The final production is a rich, textured and powerful 90-minute to 2-hour production that imparts the message: It is safe, okay and beautiful to feel pleasure. The liquidFIRE Project also provides the opportunity for participants to work with some of the Bay Area’s most prominent facilitators, artists, directors and teachers in a safe and supportive environment.
About liquidFIRE Productions
liquidFIRE Productions seeks to inspire, create, develop, and produce – through multidisciplinary performances and film – original artistic expressions of lesbians of color. We are dedicated to empowering lesbians of color by developing their inherent talents through classical and innovative instruction; providing opportunities to nurture and showcase their diverse works in a highly professional environment; and creating and strengthening alliances with other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender artists and organizations. liquidFIRE Productions also exists to counter heterosexist, homophobic assumptions with the artistry of lesbians of color, which resonates universal truths and offers vital tools for liberation and social change; and to illuminate lesbian of color visibility within mainstream artistic communities and society as a whole.
liquidFIRE Productions grew out of a performance piece entitled “Liquid Fire” which was inspired by the celebrated women of color erotic show, “Deeper Love”, created and directed by Imani Uzuri in 1996. Also, it was Imani Uzuri who played an integral role in originating the title “Liquid Fire” to describe “erotic power” as explored and celebrated by lesbians of color through multidisciplinary performance. Veronica C. Combs and a group of Lesbian artists of color originated the project in 1997 to develop original work directed at Lesbian audiences. This first production of “Liquid Fire” played to sold-out houses at Luna Sea Women’s Performance Project in September 1997 and a second version was staged at the same venue in January 1998. The participating artists and audiences’ enthusiastic response to “Liquid Fire” encouraged Ms. Combs to expand the outreach, depth and professionalism of the project by securing a new group of artists, adding a workshop and extended rehearsal process culminating in a third original piece in fall 1999. The now annual project has since been renamed The liquidFIRE Project, and expanded to a 5-month collaborative project that provides the opportunity for participants to work with some of the Bay Area’s most prominent facilitators, artists, directors and teachers in a safe and supportive environment.
In 2000, Ms. Combs formed liquidFIRE Productions, a non-profit lesbian of color arts organization and the Queer Cultural Center currently serves as the organization’s fiscal sponsor. She also created the erotic cabaret event, WET, as a platform for emerging and professional lesbian and queer people of color artists to showcase their talents in a fun, supportive and professional environment. Over the past seven years the organization’s seven original full-length works and cabaret performances have played an enormous role in the emergence of liquidFIRE Productions as one of the country’s strongest organizations serving Lesbian artists of color.
Photo: John Louie/ Dream Factory
Veronica C. Combs (artistic director), an accomplished producer, director, dancer, dance teacher and choreographer, has been producing groundbreaking lesbian performance programming in the Bay Area since 1995. She is the Artistic Director of Liquid Fire Productions, an organization dedicated to the authentic representation of lesbians of color on stage and in film. Veronica is the mastermind behind The liquidFIRE Project, a five-month collaborative process in which a group of lesbians of color explore, reclaim and celebrate their erotic power and WET, a fun-filled erotic cabaret event featuring queer artists of color. As Artistic Director of Luna Sea Women’s Performance Project in San Francisco from 1995 to 1998, Veronica produced and directed several festivals and performances including Women of Color Month (September 1996 & 1997), featuring Juke Joint, Sistahs Singin’ and the first incarnations of The Liquid Fire Project; and Disputed Territory (June 1996 – 1998), featuring performances that addressed issues considered taboo in the queer community. She produced and co-directed the 1996 production of Skin: the Black and White of It in which African American and White lesbians explored racism. She also created Sistahs Rising in honor of Bay Area women artists, a fundraising event for Serpent Source Foundation for Women Artists. As a two-time recipient (2001 – 2002) of a California Arts Council AIR grant, Veronica served as Artist-In-Residence at the YWCA and Citicentre Dance Theatre with The L.I.F.E. Theatre Project, a multidisciplinary autobiographical theatre project for teen girls; and at the Jon Sims Center for the Arts with “Unleashing Your Fire” Workshops featuring the process used to create the culminating production of The liquid FIRE Project. Veronica has also received grants and awards from Serpent Source Foundation for Women Artists, San Francisco Arts Commission, Horizons Foundation, Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice, The Women’s Foundation of California and Rainbow Grocery: A Worker-Owned Cooperative. As a dancer and choreographer in the Bay Area, her work has been performed at Luna Sea, CoCo Club, Brady Street Dance Center, Venue 9, Club Q, SomArts Theatre, Jon Sims Center for the Arts, The Oakland Box Theatre, and Alice Arts Center. Veronica has taught jazz and modern dance (Horton Technique), at various studios, schools and programs in the Bay Area including Brady Street Dance Center, San Francisco Dance Center, AileyCamp, San Francisco School of the Arts, and CitiCentre Dance Theatre in Oakland. She is also working on her first screenplay.
Anissa Michelle Primus Alston is a 34-year-old emerging talent who started performing at an early age by putting on shows for her neighbors. An Oakland resident for over 15 years, she came to the Bay Area to attend Mills College where she studied video production, wrote tons of poetry and earned a degree in Communications. Currently working as a technology coordinator at Head-Royce School, Anissa has recently given more attention to expressing her creativity. Taking acting and writing classes, her efforts landed her voiceover work on two public service announcements for the County of San Mateo that aired on MTV, VH1, Cartoon Network, and KMEL, one of which she also wrote. Weekly, she feeds her love of singing as well as her spirituality as a member of the International East Bay Church of Religious Science Choir. She also uses her computer skills to contribute to Sistahs Steppin’ In Pride, an East Bay dyke march now in its third year, as the website designer.
Britt Anderson, a Bay Area native, is a queer mixed race writer, poet, dancer, photographer, acquaintance rape survivor, middle school teacher and librarian exploring race, class, gender and sexuality in her unfinished memoir. She performed original poetry at SFWar’s Poets Against Rape event in 2003 and is included in the chapbook, My words, my voice, my strength, my healing: Poets against rape anthology. Her photographic work has been on display at the San Francisco Main Library and the African-American Cultural Arts Complex. She appears in Chloe Atkin’s book Girls Night Out and in the Back to School 1997 issue of Girlfriends magazine. Her middle school anti-homophobia curriculum was written up in the Sept/Oct 2000 issue of Alternative Family. Her dance interests are primarily modern jazz blues. She’s taken studio classes with Elvia Marta, Bayan Jamay and Robert Moses during the past 6 years. Before that she performed at a local high school with a West African dance troupe and did several contact improvisational performances.
Lynn Bolton is a southern writer, performer and spiritual activist. Her performance roots sprouted in kindergarten, when she replaced her teacher for Story Hour. Since then, she has cultivated her passion in street theatre, plays, musicals, and vocal groups. Lynn strutted her stuff in the 2000 production of Liquid Fire: Unleash the Fire, and with the Berkeley Broadway Singers in “Hit the Road” last year. Marrying her spiritual beliefs with her professional goals, Lynn works as a fundraiser for a public interest environmental law firm. She also is President of the Board of liquidFire Productions. Dedicating her life to engendering healing transformation, Lynn lives in Oakland with the puppy loves of her life, Bocephus and K.D.
Marilyn Carole Malone is a 46 year old African American lesbian. Born in Los
Angeles and raised in the San Antonio Texas area, Marilyn has been a health
care provider for over 24 years. The last 16 of those years, she has spent here in the Bay area. During that time, she became a Sickle Cell educator, a high school and college mentor, and a clinical instructor for both graduate and post-graduate students. Writing, baking, and crocheting are a few of this diverse dyke’s passions. (No causalities to loved-ones or friends reported). Her first true stage experience (not counting the Easter plays and Christmas pageants) will be the Liquid Fire production.
Celestina Pearl was born and raised in the City of Angels, and moved to San Francisco from Eugene, Oregon in January 2000. She’s a 29 year old Chicana Femme Dyke, performance and visual artist, poet, writer and bruja. She’s performed solo at many venues up and down the West Coast. She founded and performed with the Fierce Pussy Posse Cabaret Theatre Company from 1997-2000, in Eugene, Oregon. In San Francisco, she performed in Liquid Fire 2000 & 2001, in several performances of “Wet”, an erotic cabaret by Lesbians of Color from 2000-2003, in many shows at Luna Sea Women’s Performance Project from 2000-2003, with Debauchery, a queer performance group from 2001-2003, and in “Please Don’t Stop” and “Voluptuous Vixens”, two movies celebrating the erotic lives of Lesbians of Color. She directed and starred in “Dangerous Curves: The Femme Show” in 2003. She painted her first large scale public mural at Luna Sea in 2003. She is grateful for the experiences of joy and the lessons of her body, life and interrelatedness.
April Frederick Quintana is a 27 year old Queer, Mestiza, Latina, Poet, and Spoken Word Artist from the San Luis Valley, Colorado. She discovered words as an instrument for healing while writing her grandmother’s eulogy in 1999 and hasn’t stopped since. April took the stage by storm in 2003 with two fierce performances; a benefit for queer indie film Simone’s 24 hosted by El Rio, and Waiting for our Words at Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco. Her passion for Women’s Human Rights and Socioeconomic Development in Latin America leads her to graduate school this fall for a MA in International Affairs. Liquid Fire 2004 is a homecoming celebration for her five year journey back to herself.
Danielle Richardson is thrilled to be joining the Liquid Fire Project. She was a participant in the “Unleashing Your Fire” workshop in 2003. She is a naturally multi-talented Lesbian Woman of Color. Danielle at the ripe age of forty balances supervising an Adult Day Facility for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, working on her degree in social work and being a Mother of two. She celebrates the power of the erotic while basking in the exotic, strength and fervency of being Black Woman (Woman of color).
Donna Sabbatani, a 40 year old queer Latina with complex cultural roots, is performing for her first time with Liquid Fire. Inspired by her visit to the outstanding Liquid Fire production Skin Hot Bone Deep, Donna felt committed to bringing her story to the project, walking through tremendous fear to audition, never expecting to be chosen as a participant! Donna is an aspiring, poet, fledgling violinist, spiritual activist and has recently made a life changing move to the sea of diversity that is Oakland after having lived her whole life on the Peninsula. Believing in being visible as a queer woman, Donna has volunteered for the AIDS organization Under One Roof, and devoted time to door-to-door politicking to gain support for queer rights to marriage.
Lolan Buhain Sevilla, 28, is a 2nd generation butch Pinay with Philippine roots, San Diego origins and San Francisco beginnings. She received her BA in English and Ethnic Studies from Mills College during which she began her life as a community artist. Lolan’s work has been published in Maganda Magazine, Post Gay/Ante Asian, The Womanist, Upon Flesh I See Words and My Words My Voice My Strength My Healing, and has also been showcased in Luna Sea’s Queer API Women’s Show (2000), various Liquid Fire productions (2001-2004), as a featured writer for the Jon Sims Center for the Arts Literary Series (2002) and Halo-Halo: A Queer Pin@y Revue (2003) for which she also co-produced. Current projects include a novel-in-progress based upon her short story “The Debutante of My Dreams.” She is also a co-founding member of Kreatibo, a queer Pin@y artist collective. Lolan is committed to the preservation of cultural memory for all her communities – the written word is her chosen weapon of resistance.
Roopa Singh is a first generation Indian-American writer, spoken word artist, activist, and young lawyer interested in creative solutions to the multi-faceted oppression of our day. Roopa has spent her professional career engaging in community outreach and legal advocacy. In 2002, she successfully publicized a xenophobic decision by Chief Justice Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court to order her to remove her head wrap while reporting on a First Amendment argument. With a lifelong dedication to people, prose, and poetry, Roopa began her artistic career in earnest after completing law school at UC Berkeley in 2003. She has been a featured poet at the Alice Arts Center in Wordplay, the First Annual Literary Arts Festival presented by the Oakland School of the Arts (12/03), on KPFA (7/03), and at Poder de la Mujér, a celebration of women of color artists at La Peña (7/03). As a political poet on the Libertad Tour 2003, Roopa toured the Caribbean with a group of hip-hop artists of color engaging in alliance building through artistic exchange. During this tour Roopa performed solo and in collaboration with other dynamic artists at hip-hop and community based venues on the islands of Puerto Rico, Vieques, the Dominican Republic, and during Black August and the International Hip Hop Festival in Cuba. Roopa recently recorded a poem addressing the escalation of women in prison with the back-up of a full band of talented Oakland musicians. This piece, “Cradle da Sky,” is soon to be released alongside works by such warriors as Angela Davis on a CD compilation issued by Justice Now, an Oakland based legal services organization. Roopa can be seen and heard at Bay Area venues such as the Java House, the Alice Arts Center, and Second Sundays.
Olivia Wang is a 27 year-old queer woman of Chinese and Japanese descent born in the East Coast to immigrant parents. She began performing as a concert violinist and theater/film actress while a teenager in North Carolina. In recent years, her poetry has been featured at various venues in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. Olivia aspires to explore how her creative talents can be channeled into the social justice work she does as a prison abolitionist lawyer who works with battered women.
Exodus Williams: Dyke identified Bi-sexual/ Women/Mujer/Earth Mother/ Single/ Change/Writer/Poet/Entertainer/YouthEducator/PartyAnimal/LiquidFire/OtherSiSter/NQAF/DykeDrama1999-2000/Sister/ Daughter/ Wet /Teacher/ Da’ Words So Good/ Proyecto ContraSIDA Por Vida/Dancer/Community Organizer/Friend/Peace Maker-Black Activist/ FREEDOM-Fighter/ Director/ Sound-operator/House Manager/Mentor/ healer/ Seer
Born in Los Angeles, Williams started writing at the age of 10 and was able to speak in front of audiences by the time junior high rolled around. She focused on dancing and acting, but Poetry was and still is her main focus. She is currently working on her story: “The TRUTH about growing up J.W, a poetic memoir”. She has been an active member of the queer community since her come-out date. She has participated and organized with the Queer Cultural Center, Arise Magazine, the youth national campaign for LYON Martin Health Center, and Zuna Institute. She has performed with Luna Sea Women’s Theatre’s Dyke Drama Festival 1999-2000, From the Heart Latina Women Of Color Show-2001, and Crookaletta A Series 2003. Williams has hosted and produced many events in and around the bay area including Hot Choco-clit 2002, Da words So good 2003, Revolution Break Here: Unplugged Poetry in the City as a part of the SFinXile series-2003, Dyke March Out Loud SF 2003, and the African American Pride Stage 2003. Before participating as an artist in the 5-month collaborative process of Liquid Fire, Williams was the House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator for the Liquid Fire Project from 1998-2003. She has also participated as a performer and sound operator for WET 2000-2003, a cabaret event produced by Liquid Fire Productions. Williams has also incorporated the need for women’s right and equality in her activism. She is currently a volunteer for NCLR, as well as Diversity Works, a youth mentoring program. She is also currently facilitating the conversation of violence in the community with Center for Young Women’s Development as well as the need for conversation and truth with the ULOAH: United Lesbians of African Heritage. She did not know that she had a gift when she started but she continued to write despite the negative cloud that hangs over her for being a woman who loves women.