Happy wives“Part of Ali and Bioh’s Quest to Celebrate Black Joy” takes place in a West African neighborhood in Harlem and will be shown at the Delacorte Theater from July 6 to August 29. “When I was reading the script, I started to imagine two black women sitting in a braiding salon,” says Ali. Bioh, who grew up in the town of Ghanaian parents, was not surprised: “I’ve probably spent five years in total sitting in that living room. These are my people. “
Instead of their typical wine and snack-filled gatherings, the two have been working through Zoom and Google Docs on this production since February, never knowing if the country would be safe for live performances during the summer. “It was all theoretical,” says Ali. Now that the project is officially ready, the emotional weight of this experience is beginning to take effect. “We all understand how valuable what we do is and how easily it can be taken from us,” says Bioh. “That renewed spirit is going to be something really beautiful.”
The representation has always been at the forefront of the works of Ali and Bioh. “I have been invited to tell stories with writers about the intense pain and suffering of blacks, and I have told them those stories,” says Ali. “But I’m really interested in moving the needle and participating in stories that are joyful, because those stories exist too.” Bioh agrees. “I believe that black joy is an act of rebellion. Nobody wants to see it enough. Those are not the stories that are part of the mainstream news. Our resilience is that regardless of everything we’ve been through, there is still joy, ”he says. “There is always comedy. There is always a way to celebrate and celebrate. “
HAIR, ANDRITA RENEE; MAKEUP AND GROOMING, MICHELA WARIEBI; SASTRE, MARIA DEL GRECO. PRODUCED IN LOCATION BY THE CUSTOMIZED FAMILY. FOR MORE DETAILS, GO TO VF.COM/CREDITS.
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