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Alaiyo – presented by Definition Theatre at The Revival

February 26, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm CST

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Alaiyo – presented by Definition Theatre at The Revival

When she realizes that she’s in love with her best friend Kofi, hopeless romantic Ariel sets out on a quest to tell him how she feels…and make a pilgrimage to the shores of Africa. Inspired by A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Ariel seeks to heal a 400 year old wound through her journey toward selfhood. As she grapples with the gray space of being neither fully African nor fully American, she uncovers the darkest parts of herself and the sweet spots in her Black American identity. This choreopoem samples the old and makes space for the new as Ariel sails to Ghana to confess her love to Kofi.

From Director McKenzie Chinn:

Pull up your anchor.

Alaiyo invites us on an odyssey, with little regard to the limits of time and space, on a reverse Middle Passage, to recover an understanding of identity that, for so many Black Americans whose ancestors were stolen from their homeland, was shattered between the coasts of West Africa and the shorelines of antebellum America, heritage that lays in pieces at the bottom of the Atlantic or ran aground along the beaches of the American south.

This play—this Black American love poem – in the magical traditions of Ntozake Shange, of Susan Lori Parks, of Sonia Sanchez, and Lorraine Hansberry, and Julie Dash, catapults us with abandon across Atlantic airwaves, in pursuit of selfhood, through the headwinds of love, longing, and deepest desire.

As a Black woman brought up within the sharp and alienating jaws of America, ALAIYO is the journey I didn’t know I needed.

It is the mirror that speaks back.

It is an entire diaspora storming inside of me, acknowledged, named, and offered peace.

Like Kofi says, “We’ve been telling this love story for a long time.”

Pull up your anchor.

— McKenzie Chinn


The Revival
1160 E. 55th Street
Chicago, IL United States
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