Thee Quest For BlackJOY

"Thee Quest for BlackJoy" premiered in 2023's Dixon Place HOT! festival as a staged reading. This year thanks to a grant from LMCC, we are one of 7 productions to make up WoW Cafe Theater's 2024 Festival of Joy and Resilience which kicks off June 1st. 

The original story is an interstellar allegory about one's journey through life, death and back to life again. The catalyst and motivation being my own process of grieving the loss of my father 2 years ago and having to still show up as Joi Sanchez in the world. i had to find my way back to occupying the space i had created for myself in the world. In this personal journey, the idea of BlackJOY as a movement & lifestyle choice inspired me to begin integrating all the compartments of myself into the one whole me that deserves to exist. Essentially that is the theme of this ever evolving stage play. In this iteration, mainly because of time constraints, I have decided to evolve the story and rework it's presentation toii be less dense and fuse my practices of music, poetry, singing, culinary & visual art into an immersive interactive art production. 

In the original script, our main character, Xio, is living her life on earth: working 2 jobs, side hustling art and caring for her ailing father. One day on her way to work she gets a call that her father is missing. She ditches work goes to the hospital to investigate and suffers a mental break (triggered by the nurse having a Karen moment) that activates her latent super powers. It turns out that Xio is a galactic royal family member of Mintaka. Her soul travels from earth,  across the to her birth planet where she learns her true history and that in order to ascend to the throne, she must go on a quest back to Earth to harvest BlackJOY and save the universe from destruction at the hands of her evil step-sibling, Capicolonista leader of the  oligolioo’s responsible for intergalactic colonization of every planet not already under her thumb. 

In this version, we join our main character, Xio, after she has been returned to Earth to set out on her quest. in rethinking how this story could be presented with the greatest impact, I am re-writing it as a loosely scripted cabaret that expands the storyline but also the design of my ongoing installation project The BlackJOY Possibiltree. The rewritten script will incorporate each act as character in the story. A combination of our main character, an unseen narrator, and video or light installations serve as transitions between acts (scenes). There is a 30 minute intermission built into the show which is expected to run approximately 2 hours max. Guests attending can purchase table or audience seats. Currently working on designing the set to accommodate at least 50 people per show. Tickets are priced on a sliding scale of $7-100. Food and Drink concessions will be on site for sale. Food & beverage will be provided for cast prior to doors opening or after show daily.