Lillian Brown to present one-woman play performance Friday

Lillian Brown, visiting professor of theatre, will present a solo performance of her original play “The OREO Complex” Friday, July 8. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at The Heist, 114 Watson St. Brown is using the performance as a preview/workshop before she takes the show on the road.

“The OREO Complex” is an exploration of internalized segregation, a celebration of resilience, a practice of rigorous patience, honesty and veneration of ancestors from the African and black diaspora. It chronicles the experience of OREO Girl, a black female, navigating predominately white institutions. For her, it is a voyage to embody an unapologetic performance of blackness despite the obstructions that erupt from a lineage of assimilation and perfectly polished respectability. Most importantly, it is a revolution to be seen and heard authentically as human.

“I wrote it shortly after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor when I was hiding in my apartment amidst chaos invading the streets,” Brown says. “There was a lot of virtue signaling by my ‘friends’ online. Something I like to call fast-food activism. I felt invalidated. Why did my ‘friends’ choose to invest themselves in the general and all-encompassing theme of #blacklivesmatter when I was standing right beside them all along? Must I be asphyxiated for 9 min 29 seconds before people realize my life is worth protecting too?”

After the performance, there will be a discussion about Brown’s process devising the work. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Tickets are available for $10 here.

Brown will be performing her show at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C., and the St. Louis Fringe Festival in Missouri this summer.


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