Kareem Nemley

Rooted Theater Company
"Child of the Ghetto," a Choreopoem based on a poems by Shadenia Davis
Artistic Discipline: Theater
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2020
Location: East New York

Rooted Theater Company engages, challenges, and inspires audiences through theatrical productions that range from the classics to new and emerging works; their programming encourages social consciousness through real, open, and objective theater education. Rooted Theater Company celebrates the diversity of the community's roots, present struggles, and future successes through intentional theater.

The Company will produce "Child of the Ghetto," a book of poems written by Shadenia Davis, adapted as a choreopoem for the stage. The work is an exploration of Black womanhood, identity, sisterhood, and self-love through the lens of dance, performance, and music with a flair of hip-hop. Reminiscent of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is enough" by Ntozake Shange, Davis' work brings the black girl narrative to the present day and fully expresses the magic Black women are imbued with even throughout the adversity they have historically encountered.

This is an original adaptation by Rooted Theater Company - the only active theater company in East New York, Brooklyn - by a team with an excess of 15 years of theater production experience. They will hold auditions in early January and seek specialists for necessary production needs.

As a follow-up to their inaugural production of "A Lesson Before Dying" in 2017, "For Colored Girls" in 2018 and "The Last Saint on Sugar Hill" in 2019, Rooted continues to learn lessons that help to cultivate the quality of theater they present to the community. The primary goal of this project is to present theater to a community with negligible access to local sourced and driven theater - more importantly, the Company will present theater that will cause audience members to think and ask questions of themselves, neighbors, and their community.