NEWS: WOKE @ Northern Stage | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Now living as an African American woman outside of America, accomplished writer and performer Apphia Campbell plays two women involved in the struggle for civil rights 42 years apart: 1970s revolutionary figurehead Assata Shakur is a member of the Black Panther party and Black Liberation Army, while Ambrosia, a present-day university student, is enrolling just as the Ferguson riots begin in 2014.

The juxtaposition of these two women’s stories, performed at Newcastle’s Northern Stage on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th February, is disturbing: the past is not behind us, the story is never over – we are all connected. They start from different places but both women challenge the American justice system and both become criminalised through political activism. As her eyes are opened to the injustices of the past and the present, Ambrosia changes position and perspective throughout the play until both women ultimately face the same choice: “Do I stay and fight, or do I run?”

Following on from the success of her critically acclaimed play Black Is The Color Of My Voice, inspired by jazz singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone, Campbell reclaims ‘woke’ in the context of civil rights activism against a powerful soundtrack of original music and traditional gospel and blues performed live. Adapted from Altovise Laster’s Poems From The Underground, this award-winning, one-woman play by Apphia Campbell and Meredith Yarbrough takes the audience on a thrilling, emotional journey towards a fuller, deeper understanding of the reality of WOKE.

WOKE is at Northern Stage on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th February.

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