Sarahjeen François

Artist Statement

My creative work extends between theatre and movement-based performance art. With these practices I explore story telling through non-verbal communication and gestures of the body to interrogate how the body manifests text into a physical representation. I highlight the bodies of women of color and social power because I am interested in how those bodies have occupied space historically and how that has evolved into present-day socially accepted constructs.
I am influenced by my experience of living in the United States as a black woman as well as by my Haitian heritage. When generating work, I draw on elements of Haitian art such as ideas of rebellion, dance, ritual, and the divine. Additionally, I am drawn to tell stories centered around the experiences of women of color as they face marginalization, patriarchy, and constant gender-based attacks on their bodies.
I am fascinated by these intersecting ideas and the way they eloquently tie into one another to create stories that inspire. While this is a society that seeks to control women, my creative work is meant to encourage them to channel the strengths of their ancestors and rebel against systematic oppression.

 

ANTI LULLABY

Castello San Basilio Residency In Exile

Restful slumber is a phantom presence in the wake of systemic racism, social injustice, and a global pandemic. Part of the flag Semaphores series shot and edited by Jesse Bonnell.

 

WITCHX AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACY
(W.A.W.S.)

HERE WE GO 24 HOUR ZOOM FESTIVAL June 2020

Witchx Against White Supremacy was written as a participant in the HERE WE GO 24hr ZOOMFEST (June Edition). Thank you to everyone who tuned in on Sunday night! We are thrilled to announce that we were able to raise over $150 for @blackwomensblueprint. If you haven’t yet, please consider contributing to support their organization We are immensely proud of all of the talented artists who participated. We are stunned by the work that they were able to create in only 24 hours! That being said, it shouldn’t be rare for theater organizations to present a line up of all-black writers. We need to start demanding adequate representation on stage as well as behind the curtains We are committed to becoming better allies and to making a change in our industry.

 

Short Film.

LESSONS IN GARDENING WHAN YA SKIN IS BROWN AND THE WORLD IS TOO TOUGH

An exercise in healing to quelch the bubbling rage that threatens to boil over.

 

Winter Lab Fest 2020

LOUVERTURE

“Louverture” follows the hero’s journey of Toussaint Louverture and the events of the Haitian Revolution but three fateful gunshots serve as the catalyst for a riveting plot twist in this reimagining of Haiti’s epic rise to independence and what emerges is a new work rich with Afro-Haitian culture and themes of duty, rebellion, legacy, and courage at the peak of French Colonialism on the island nation of Saint Domingue (now Haiti).

Encompassing elements of Afro-Mythology, Haitian folkloric Dance, and West African drum music, Louverture shifts the focus from usual heroes to unlikely but formidable ones.

 

CASUALTIES OF WAR

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019

The fate of Femineity hangs in the balance as six feminine deities are forced to come together to win the battle of the sexes waged by the gods. 

Casualties of War explores the timeless and insidious nature of internalized misogyny. Through the stories of goddesses from around the world, themes of sexual assault, power, and solidarity are interrogated. The notion of internalized misogyny serves as the baseline that connects these characters to the infighting they experience in Casualties of War and draws parallels between the mighty gods of old (Zeus, Poseidon, etc…) and present-day titans of industry (Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, etc…). The cyclical nature of misogyny is highlighted by the nonspeaking character roles through movement and gestures of the body.

 

SURPRISE, YOU'RE A HASBIAN!

Elle is engaged to be wed and her best friends, Yasmeen and Morgan, are setting up her extravagant bachelorette party. The evening begins pleasantly, but when Morgan’s girlfriend makes a comment about Elle’s bi-sexuality, tensions rise and lines are drawn.

Atlanta AppCo Alumni Series

 

ERZULIE

Four Erzulies (Erzulie Mambo, Erzulie Freda, Erzulie Yeux Rouge, and Erzulie Toho) – are trapped in an old catholic church in Petionville, Haiti. They survive on offerings of Rum when the Erzulie ritual is performed but because the outlawing of the practice of voodoo (and the rise of catholicism), they are starving and have to mix the ever-abundant wine (blood of Christ) with their rum, which barely keeps them alive.

 
 
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