Q: What kind of theater excites you?
A: Theater with balls, theater that is not about pleasing an audience but the artist being true to themselves, the message of the work and connecting with audiences who celebrate that. And I love theater that leaves me thinking about its themes/subjects looong after its done, theater that punches me in the gut, the kind that makes we want to create some change.
– Radha Blank in an interview with Adam Szymkowicz
The high wire act that is the one-person show: Radha Blank’s courageous, witty, challenging and thoroughly contemporary “HappyFlowerNail”
Written & Performed by: Radha Blank
Directed by: Colman Domingo
Fort Greene: Sept 20, 7:30pm*
Park Slope: Sept 21, 7:30pm
Flatbush: Sept 22, 7:30pm
(*Purchase Fort Greene/Irondale Center Tickets
Via Separate Link Below)
Esteemed writer and performer Radha Blank mines the ideas of ownership, freedom and survival in her play about a Korean-owned nail salon in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. She single-handedly depicts five very different women who find home in this storefront salon. From these characters, the identity crisis of a neighborhood emerges as the women speak about the jolting experiences of gentrification. Radha’s virtuosic range of performance, piercing poetics, and cunning ability to see multiple points of view at once, creates an unstoppable dynamism in her play, HappyFlowerNail. As she seamlessly transitions from character to character, Radha challenges us to experience many sides of Brooklyn through this searing portrait of the borough. Tony-nominated actor and playwright, Colman Domingo will direct.
Radha Blank’s one-woman show weaves a whip-smart, emotional and timely tale about gentrification and cultural identity.
– The Wall Street Journal
* Purchase Tickets To See “HappyFlowerNail” At The Irondale Center (FG) on 9/20 here:
About Radha Blank
Radha Blank, writer for stage and screen, finds inspiration in her native New York, the Hip Hop generation as well as unheard voices from both immigrant and deprived communities across the United States. After spending several years writing for Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. shows Little Bill, The Backyardigans and original animated shorts like, ‘Papa Moco Jumbie’, Radha, a former teaching artist, devoted more time to writing stories through the lens of social justice issues. Last fall, the World Premiere of ‘SEED’. her play written in verse that follows a burnt-out social worker and a child genius from the projects in Harlem, garnered praise from audiences and critics alike.
Ms. Blank’s plays have been developed and/or presented by The Classical Theater of Harlem, The City Parks Foundation, Dixon Place, Here, The Public Theater, The Lark, Voice and Vision, Luna Stage, Hedgebrook, Arena Stage, Penumbra Theater, ACT Theater, The Vineyard Arts Project, The American Slavery Project, The New Black Fest and several seasons of The NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival. Plays include HappyFlowerNail, American Schemes, SEED, nannyland, Casket Sharp and Kenya, her first solo-show, for which The Village Voice called ‘riveting…immediately alive”.
Awards and Fellowships include NYFA’s Artists Fellowship, Nickelodeon’s Writers Fellowship, The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Arts New Play Development Award (for SEED) and the 2011 Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting.
For 2012-13, stage commissions include 32 To Base, a play about immigrant cabbies in the South Bronx for EPIC Theater Ensemble’s Sunshine Series as well as yet-to-titled play about restaurant workers for NYU Tisch’s Graduate Acting Program. Her latest play, Confections, explores how a daughter’s passion for baking masks a mother’s dark secret in a small North Carolina town. Confections is part of a trilogy that explores the United States eugenicists movement.
Radha has written several screenplays and is currently adapting Walter Dean Myers’ award-winning best-seller “Monster” for On-Screen Entertainment.
Thanks to Adam Szymkowicz for the quote, whose blog can be found here: Adam Szymkowicz’ blog
Photo Credit (top): n’dada vaz | All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit (body): Joseph Moran | All Rights Reserved