Liza Jessie Peterson The Peculiar Patriot
Word*Rock*Sword: A Festival Exploration of Women’s Lives Goes to the Theater. Thursday September 21st.
The National Black Theatre: Institute for Action Arts
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The Peculiar Patriot
The Peculiar Patriot confronts the complex and critical issue of mass incarceration. With more than 2.5 million people behind bars, America is the world’s leading prison superpower. The Peculiar Patriot examines the human impact and inhuman machinery of the prison industrial complex and shines a glaring light on the racial disparities that feed the draconian system. The play follows protagonist Betsy LaQuanda Ross, a self-proclaimed peculiar patriot, as she makes regular visits to penitentiaries to boost the morale of her incarcerated friends and family, navigating love between barbed wire. As she shares neighborhood updates and gossip and reminisces about family, Betsy delivers a shrewd indictment of the criminal justice system in her own authentic and inimitable style, with a heavy dose of humor to boot.
Liza Jessie Peterson
Liza Jessie Peterson is a renowned actress, poet, playwright, educator and advocate. Liza has written several plays including her most recent one woman play The Peculiar Patriot, which embarked on a national prison tour where she performed in over 35 jails and penitentiaries across the country. She recently performed The Peculiar Patriot, opening for Angela Davis, at Columbia University’s conference on mass incarceration. Her plays have been featured in notable theater festivals and performed in various theaters, nationally and internationally.
Also known for her exceptional poetic skills, Liza began her poetry career at the famed Nuyorican Poets Café in the mid-90’s and was a vital member of the enclave of notable poets who were part of the “underground slam poetry/spoken word” movement before it attracted television cameras and became a national obsession. It was this electric group of artists that inspired Russell Simmons to bring “spoken word/slam poetry” to HBO where Liza appeared on two episodes of Def Poetry. She has shared the stage with luminaries such as Nona Hendryx, Toshi Reagon, Amiri Baraka, The Last Poets, Craig Harris, Vernon Reid, Rakim, Carl Hancock Rux and Sandra St. Victor to name just a few.
September 17, 2017 – October 1, 2017
- Thursday, Friday, Monday: 7:30 PM
- Saturday: 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM
- Sunday: 4:00 PM
Maruti Evans (Set & Lighting)
Katherine Freer (Projections)
Luqman Brown (Sound)
Byron McCray (Production Art)
HashimotoPhoto.com (Production Picture)