We are delighted to present to you TO WAKE THE AIR: A FESTIVAL CELEBRATING BIPOC LIFE a showcase of BIPOC student art ranging from musical performances to multimedia productions. TO WAKE THE AIR draws from the idea of awakening — and the concepts of wake work that Christina Sharpe outlines in her book IN THE WAKE: ON BLACKNESS AND BEING (2016). Sharpe uses the metaphor of the wake, defined in her words as “the keeping watch with the dead, the path of a ship, a consequence of something, in the line of flight and/or sight, awakening, and consciousness” as a central concept to rethink how to live in the legacy of slavery, oppression, and continued turmoil that Black people face. Wake work is thus “a mode of inhabiting and rupturing this episteme” and to “imagine otherwise” (18).
The showcase takes up the infinitive form, “to wake,” to indicate the significance of art and artists voices in remembering and reconceiving the world we are in. The students presented in this showcase have vibrant and compelling voices that mediate on themes around Black life, sisterhood, growth, remembrance, and joy. Their work also explores the restrictions of social norms, environmental racism, and decoloniality. Presented in song, poetry, monologues, and movement, the performances presented here offer the gorgeous variety of BIPOC artistry and the significance of the artist’s voice to awaken and call forth. We hope that you enjoy TO WAKE THE AIR!
A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR AND Curatorial Team
TO WAKE THE AIR
A FESTIVAL HONORING BIPOC LIFE
and “Our Grandmothers”
On “The Awakening” As children grow up they are awakened by the realities of the world and that influences their journey through life. On “Our Grandmothers” By Maya Angelou. A deep reflection on life while witnessing the restorative power of nature. by sierra porter
PERFORMANCE 2/7 UNDIFFER- ENTIATED
“UNDIFFERENTIATED” is a collection of poems that examine the way our Blackness bleeds into everything we know intimately — life, death, the land, and the sea.
By Kiara Dunbar
“self-worship” is a series of poems that describe Black women’s journeys into a liberated and autonomous existence.
By Allison Oddman PERFORMANCE 7/7
Two songs (“Currents” and “My Way Out”) exploring what it means to escape and what it means to recognize the need for escape. Both songs are selected from the EP RENTAL. By Obed De la Cruz
PERFORMANCE 4/7 In a field of sunflowers
In a field of sunflowers, Ace tells the story of their liberation from suffering embracing all the delicate parts of their spirit.
By Ace the Storyteller
"Ocean" exists as reflection on water, one of the most powerfully destructive elements, that is also essential for carrying us through life.
By Alexa Luckey
PERFORMANCE 6/7 a brown dream
This piece is a manifestation of the dream-like state that is the relationship between sisters. Our love is deeply rooted in our Blackness and much of our conversation exists simply in knowing. What does it mean to dream as a Black woman? Can dreams and reality be separated, or do they exist as products of one another, just as sisters do?
By Sequoiah Hippolyte
OBED DE LA CRUZ
SEQUOIAH BLAIRE HIPPOLYTE
AVIELLE NAZARENE HIPPOLYTE
SIERRA PORTER STUDENT PRODUCTION STAFF
Director of Photography + Video Editing
SEQUOIAH BLAIRE HIPPOLYTE
Associate Video Designer
Technical and Digital Director
Production Assistant/Stage Manager
Production Assistant/Stage Manager CAST + CREW
Ace (Performer/Storyteller) is a senior majoring in African and African American Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. Previously, they have written and produced their own production Transform at Stanford through the support of TAPS and IDA and participated in the production of REVIVAL (dancer).
Obed De la Cruz (Performer) is a senior majoring in TAPS (theater-making), and minoring in Film and Media Studies. Previously at Stanford he was involved in Latinx in Theater’s In the Heights (Usnavi) and TAPS’s Everybody (Somebody). In addition to appearing in TAPS’s Beyond the Wound is a Portal this Fall, Obed will also be writing, composing, and directing his first-ever production titled La Llorona — an original horror musical set to open virtually with Ram’s Head this Winter.
Obed De la Cruz
Kiara Dunbar (Performer/Poet) is a junior majoring in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. Their art most commonly explores themes of Black queer/transness, fugitivity, statelessness, and belonging. Through poetry, their goal is to highlight the experiences of Black gender-marginalized folks in America. They write poems as a way to preserve and honor the life they’ve lived while being queer, Black, & nonbinary.
Sequoiah Blaire Hippolyte (Performer) is a junior majoring in African and African American Studies and minoring in Film Studies. Previously at Stanford she has directed two independent documentaries and is a founder of Restorative Film Collective. She participated in TAPS, IDA, and BLACKStage’s REVIVAL (Oshun), and is blessed to be a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow as well as a CBPA Fellow.
Avielle Nazarene Hippolyte (Performer) is a current senior at Denver School of the Arts where she studies creative writing. She is a lover of dogs, plants, and painting, and is so excited to be a part of this artistic process with her big sister, Sequoiah!
Sequoiah Blaire Hippolyte
Avielle Nazarene Hippolyte
Kieran Hood (Technical and Digital Director) is a sophomore double-majoring in English and TAPS. Previously at Stanford she has been involved in TAPS’s Beyond the Wound is a Portal (ATD) and Ram’s Head’s: Gaieties: Unprecedented Times (Board Member), Pippin (Technical Director), All the Difference (Set Designer), Gaieties: Mission Impossible (Scenic painter, ATD, ASD).
Alexa Luckey (Performer), a senior double-majoring in Science, Technology, and Society and Theater and Performance Studies, is incredibly pleased to be a part of this work. Previous productions include TAPS's Too Good (Rachel), REVIVAL (Ogun), Constellations (Marianne), Stanford Theater Lab's Angels In America Parts 1 and 2 (Angel), Stanford WiT's Hamlet (Laertes), and Arts Magnet’s Blues for Mister Charlie (Juanita). Alexa extends gratitude to all who worked to bring this piece to life.
Allison Oddman (Performer/Co-Writer) is a senior majoring in African and African American Studies with a minor in Film and Media Studies. She serves as artistic director of BLACKstage and has held fellowships at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts and the Committee on Black Performing Arts. She is so honored to be part of this production and hopes you enjoy this beautiful work!
Sierra Porter (Performer) is a junior majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Theater and Performance Studies and African and African-American Studies. She was previously seen in TAPS productions of REVIVAL (Ensemble) and Godot Has Come (Estragon).
Audrey Senior (Production Assistant/Stage Manager) is a junior double-majoring in English and TAPS. She is the artistic director of the Stanford Shakespeare Company, Stanford’s only student repertory theatre company. Previously Audrey has acted with StanShakes, sound designed with Theater Lab, and produced dramaturgical research with Ram’s Head Theatrical Society.
Talia Trepte (Production Assistant/Stage Manager) is a co-term student in Earth Systems Communications MA with a minor in TAPS. They have performed in Stanford Light Opera Company's Miscast ("Agony", ensemble), BLACKstage's The Wiz (ensemble), and LIT's In the Heights (ensemble). Their behind-the-scenes production work includes AATP's Into the Woods (ASM), Yellow Face (Props Manager), BLACKstage's Ragtime (ASM), and BLACKstage Board of Directors (President).