FIRST FRIDAY | RHODESSA JONES: “ONCE UPON A TIME IN A PLACE CALLED NOW”
FRI MAY 01 @ 12PM-1PM PDT | Online via Zoom
Open to TAPS Students, Faculty, and Staff
TAPS’s May First Friday, “Once Upon Time In A Place Called Now,” is a lecture by SF Artist Rhodessa Jones. The talk and Q&A — over Zoom — is open to members of the TAPS community.
ABOUT RHODESSA JONES. RHODESSA JONES is Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is an activist/actress, teaching artist, director, writer and social scientist. Ms. Jones is Founder/Artistic Director of the award winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and HIV Circle, a performance workshop designed to achieve personal and social transformation with incarcerated women and women living with HIV. In 2015, The Medea Project : Theater for Incarcerated Women presented BIRTHRIGHT?, in collaboration with Northern California Planned Parenthood. 2018, at Brava Theater Center San Francisco. Ms. Jones has been named The Frank Rhodes Chair at Cornell University 2018-2021. In 2017 Ms. Jones was awarded the prestigious MONTGOMERY FELLOWSHIP at DARTMOUTH COLLEGE. Rhodessa presented lectures and led workshops Fall 2017 semester. December 2016 Rhodessa received a THEATRE BAY AREA LEGACY AWARD presented to individuals that have made “extraordinary contributions to the Bay Area theatre community.” 2014 she received THE SUI GENERIS FOUNDATION Achievement Award for “one of a kind contributions, which benefit society in unique ways”.
In January 2016 Ms. Jones was adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley teaching a BLACK THEATER WORKSHOP entitled “Performance: An African American Perspective”. Rhodessa received the Theatre Practitioner Award presented by Theater Communications Group in July 2015. The award recognizes “a living individual whose work in the American theatre has evidenced exemplary achievement over time and who has contributed significantly to the development of the larger field”. On May 16, 2014 Rhodessa was the Keynote Speaker for Graduation Commencement, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Jones was the Spring 2014 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence for the College of Letters and Science and the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In January 2015 Rhodessa was Visiting Professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. In 2015 Rhodessa directed the African American Theater Company production entitled, Xtigone at the Buriel Clay Theater in San Francesco. January 2014 Rhodessa traveled to New York to direct BLESSING THE BOATS: THE REMIX, Sekou Sundiata’s acclaimed solo theater work which was presented at The Public Theater, NY City College, and The Apollo Theater. Other directing credits includes a new play, Lost in Language by the renowned NTOZAKE SHANGE, A 2007 production of Lysistrata, produced by the African American Shakespeare Company SF. Eve Ensler’s Any One of Us, VDAY: Until the Violence Stops Festival, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York; and Will Power’s, The Gathering, in San Francisco and Winston Salem, North Carolina. Spring 2013 The Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Art Commission presented the 2013 Mayor’s Art Award to Rhodessa Jones, in recognition of her “lifetime of artistic achievement and enduring commitment to the role of the arts in civic life”. In June 2012 The U.S. Department of State, Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau selected Rhodessa as an “ARTS ENVOY”! As one of San Francisco’s most revered artists she received grant support to journey to South Africa to continue her work in collaboration with Urban Voices Festival inside the Naturena Women’s Prison in Johannesburg, South Africa and then journeyed on to perform at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa. In March 2012 Ms. Jones conducted residency activities at Brown University for the Arts in the One World Conference. During December of 2007 Ms. Jones received a United States Artist Fellowship to support her work. In 2004 she was given an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, from California College of the Arts. Other awards include a San Francisco Bay Guardian Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, a San Francisco Community Leadership Award. In May 2003 Ms. Jones was awarded a Non-Profit Arts Excellence Award by the San Francisco Business Arts Council, and in June 2003 she received an Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theater.
Rhodessa’s published works include: A Beginner’s Guide to Community – Based Arts, New Village Press; Imagining Medea: Rhodessa Jones and Theater for Incarcerated Women, The University of North Carolina Press; and Colored Contradictions An Anthology of Contemporary African – American Plays (“Big Butt Girls, Hard-Headed Women”), Penguin Group. Rhodessa’s groundbreaking methodology for working with disenfranchised populations most recently was published in Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches, © 2017 – Routledge Press.
“Black Acting Methods seeks to offer alternatives to the Euro-American performance styles that many actors find themselves working with.”