Daughter of the Hills (working title) is a devised, interdisciplinary theater work that brings to light an important piece of American history that has remained untold. Daughter of the Hills is the journey of a woman, Red, returning to her homeland in Black Mountain and the coalmines of Kentucky, where her family has dwelled for centuries. Red is instantly mired into the family politics and age-old dynamics spanning four generations of strong-willed, funny, and God-fearing mountain women. The piece expands as she learns about the politics of the region and discovers that the land is under imminent threat from mountaintop removal. Family conflicts over the implications erupt as the mining company bulldozers threaten to uproot the spirits of her ancestors. As a contemporary multi-racial Cherokee/Shawnee and African-American family, they are permanently bonded to their culture, identity, and the mountain, despite the endless waves of violence endured and the ever-changing laws of the land that attempt to extinguish them.
Daughter of the Hills is a story told in song, a contemporary Appalachian opera-meets-blues musical set amid Cherokee/Shawnee lullabies and ancient prayer songs. Daughter of the Hills is a testament to the resiliency and power of memories.
The BRIClab performance will be a reading/musical performance of Act One.
General Admission: Seated.
Actor/singers: Martha Redbone, Soni Moreno, LaJuan Carter-Dent and Keith Fluitt
Musicians: Aaron Whitby, Piano, Musical Director; Alan AB Burroughs, Guitar; and Tony Mason, Drums
Created by: Martha Redbone, lyricist, librettist, composer, and arranger; and Aaron Whitby, composer, arranger, and additional lyrics. All original songs and music are written by Martha Redbone and Aaron Whitby.
Dramaturgy: Catherine Rodriguez
Commissioned by Joe’s Pub and the Public Theater, Lincoln Center for the Arts, and Pa’I Foundation. an award recipient of the NEFA National Theater Project Creation and Touring Grant, National Performance Network Creation Fund and the Native Arts and Culture Award.
Martha Redbone is co-creator of Daughter of the Hills (working title), a maverick artist who has never been chained by borders. Her award-winning music of Native and African American roots are knee-deep in Appalachian folk and Piedmont blues favored by the matriarchy that raised her from Harlan County, Kentucky to the streets of Brooklyn. Mentored by the late Walter "Junie" Morrison of Ohio Players/Parliament Funkadelic, Redbone has earned a solid reputation as a sought-after collaborator. Her latest CD, The Garden Of Love – The Songs of William Blake, traces the sonic path of her roots. Currently in development with long-time collaborator Aaron Whitby, Daughter of the Hills (working title) is commissioned by Joe's Pub/Public Theater. Redbone is a 2015/16 Fellow of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.
Aaron Whitby is co-creator of Daughter of the Hills (working title), a producer, composer/songwriter and pianist from London, England. Also mentored by Walter "Junie" Morrison, Whitby is best known for the multiple award-winning albums written and produced with Redbone. Alongside his work with Redbone, Whitby engineered Natalie Cole's Grammy winning single "Living for Love" and has recorded and/or performed with George Clinton, Randy Brecker, Lisa Fischer, Raul Midon, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Keith Secola, Nona Hendryx, and Vernon Reid, among others. He is currently working on his own CD release, Cousin from Another Planet, a jazz/funk exploration featuring Charles Burnham, Keith Loftis, Fred Cash, Gary Fritz, and Rodney Holmes.
Redbone and Whitby have also completed commissions for the New York Theater Workshop: "Plurality of Privacy" project with Jim Nicola in partnership with the Goethe Institute, and contributing composers for "Primer for a Failed Superpower," a new work directed by Rachel Chavkin.
Catherine María Rodríguez is a professional freelance dramaturg who specializes in new play development and Latinx theatre. A New Orleans native whose paternal family hails from Nicaragua, she currently resides in New Haven to attend Yale School of Drama, where she is pursuing her MFA in Dramaturgy & Dramatic Criticism. Catherine holds degrees in Dramaturgy (BFA) and Hispanic Studies (BA) from Carnegie Mellon University. She serves as a Steering Committee Member of the Latinx Theatre Commons and on the Board of Directors for Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA). Notable credits include dramaturgy for Yale Repertory Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Borderlands Theatre, and an NNPN rolling world premiere; script reading for SUNDANCE; administrative and producing work at Steppenwolf Theatre under Jacob Padrón; and performance studies research at Northwestern University under the mentorship of Ramón H. Rivera-Servera.
Daughter of the Hills (working title) is produced as part of the BRIClab Residency. BRIClab is a commissioning and residency program that offers local artists time and space to explore and expand the possibilities of their work in music, dance, theater and multi-disciplinary performance. Work-in-progress showings, presented with moderated artist-audience dialogues, open artists’ process and creativity to BRIC’s diverse public.
The intimate, flexible studio space within BRIC House is dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists, with an audience capacity of 50-75 for rehearsals and performances in a workshop setting.
For ticketed events, the Box Office opens one hour prior to show time. Advanced tickets can be purchased online or by phone at 877-987-6487.
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