Renaissance in the Belly of a Killer Whale
About Renaissance in the Belly of a Killer Whale
Meet Bridget, Shayla, and Toni; three women who chronicle the gentrification of their beloved Harlem, journeying through the streets, history, landmarks, and changing culture of their neighborhood. Through a fusion of theatre, dance, song and spoken word poetry, "Renaissance" will draw you into these women’s youthful stories in deeply moving and uproariously funny ways.
After Wilma HotHouse actor Jaylene Clark Owens posted on Facebook about the burgeoning gentrification of Harlem in 2010, she was asked by a former teacher to expand the post into a spoken word play. It featured the titular line, “Harlem is looking more and more like the belly of a killer whale." Owens teamed up with fellow Harlemites Hollis Heath and Chyann Sapp, along with Janelle Heatley, who hails from the Bronx but was actively involved with the Harlem community, to create the full length piece, which premiered at the American Negro Theatre at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 2011. "Renaissance" has received dozens of presentations across the Northeast, most recently a successful limited engagement at Theater Horizon.