With the recent political, racial, and global unrest occurring throughout 2020, the premiere of Breathe., a live-streamed multimedia form of art activism and interactive theater event fusing live performance, cinema, and artistic swimming in a hybridized narrative that could only be born during these challenging, yet galvanizing times. Philicia Saunders (Black is King, Tabala Zo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens & The Rise of Skywalker) wrote and stars in this one-woman live theater show portraying 20 characters. Breathe. is based on her life-changing personal journey towards activism after a chance trip to a Civil Rights monument during a civil rights tour in Alabama and mentorship by a luminary of activism, Sweet Alice Harris, one of Watts’ most beloved community organizers. The piece is directed by Saunders’ fellow Princeton alum Roger Q. Mason (playwriting seen at Circle in the Square, New York Theatre Workshop, American Theatre of Actors, Son of Semele, Skylight Theatre, among many others).
Breathe. evolved from Saunders graduate school thesis called Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired which was a series of taped interviews that she had with Sweet Alice from 2012, and now in 2020 these interviews are more relevant today and are seen in this current version of Breathe. It’s important to note that some of the themes and events which occurred in the 1965 Watts unrest are still relevant and unfortunately happening in 2020. Parents of Watts organization was created by Sweet Alice as a result of the Watts unrest of 1965. (Coincidentally 2020 is the 55th Anniversary of the Watts riots).
The virtual premiere of Breathe. streams on YouTube (except for Dec. 13 when it will be Twitch) - LIVE on Friday, Dec. 11 at 5:00 p.m. PST and on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 3:30 p.m. PST. Encore performances with post-performance Talkbacks will take place on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2:00 p.m. PST (this presentation plays on Twitch and is pay-what-you can; Talkback is with Sweet Alice) and Friday, Dec. 18 at 5:00 p.m. PST. Registration is available at http://breatheshow.eventbrite.com on a sliding scale between $5-$50 with a portion of the proceeds going to Sweet Alice’s nonprofit Parents of Watts and the Community Coalition.