On My Mind/In My Heart
The Voices of Women in Public Housing
Written by Caleen Sinnette Jennings
Directed by Thembi Duncan
Produced by Empower DC
Featuring DJ RBI
November 30-December 18, 2017
Featuring Linda Brown, Abena Disroe, Robin Fields, India Fuller, Rhonda Hamilton, and Paulette Matthews
Many DC Public housing residents are fighting against the city’s plans to displace them from their communities. Experience the powerful personal stories of six women who live in DC public housing. Based on the true stories of the performers, On My Mind/In My Heart is a dynamic staged reading with music by DJ RBI.
All proceeds from ticket sales will go to Empower DC, to support their work with impacted tenants.
WTF Happened to Baby Sister?!
Written and Directed by Thembi Duncan
Conceived by James Foster, Jr.
Inspired by Michael Sainte-Andress
Produced by Brave Soul Collective
Presented at the Anacostia Playhouse
November 16-17, 2017
Featuring Monte J. Wolfe, Jared Shamberger, Jivon Lee Jackson, and Aleta Dunn
Former drag ball icons Jane and Blanche Jenkins have fallen on lean times. When Blanche decides to re-enter the culture at the Golden Diamonds Grandeur Ball, her sister vows to finally gain the title she was cheated of back in her heyday!
Photos: Omar Miguel
Dior Ashley Brown Presents
Written and Performed by Dior Ashley Brown
Friday, October 20, 2017
Joe's Movement Emporium/The Clarice
Through song, poetry, spoken word, hip-hop, theater and live instrumentation, Dior Ashley Brown and The dAb Band create a tribute to women past and present.
Photo: Dominic Green
by Ayad Akhtar
September 9-October 1, 2017
Featuring Jesse Bhamrah, Jenna Rossman, Jordan Friend, Chaela Phillips, and Nahm Darr
"...[Thembi Duncan] also makes the ordinary conversational lead-up to these moments of intensity extraordinary by finding small signals from the playwright (like mentioning the name of an antagonistic boss or the location of an indiscretion) and ensuring they affect the characters and conversations. These moments aren’t pointed to in Akhtar’s script, but Duncan has sussed them out with excellent instincts and thorough analysis. Pencil in a provisional Helen Hayes nomination for her if you’re the kind of theater-goer who makes such predictions." -Alan Katz, DC Theatre Scene
Photos: Traci J. Brooks / Lock & Company
by Dael Orlandersmith
July 16 - August 14, 2016
Featuring Stori Ayers and Justus Hammond
LISTEN to my interview with Kojo Nnamdi on WAMU about directing Yellowman and using the arts to address colorism in the black community.
"In the hands of director Thembi Duncan and her talented cast of two, Anacostia Playhouse’s production is an energetic and powerful must-see." Amy Lyons, Washington City Paper
"Director Thembi Duncan really got this play. She just got it, everything about it. And she cast it and shaped it with enormous empathy and purpose." John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Theatre Arts
Photos: Michael Dubois
by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
February 13-20, 2016
Catholic University of America
Featuring Kevin Berry, Kevin Boudreau, Regina Childs, Ime Essien, Tendo Nsubuga, Danielle Scott, and Addison Switzer
Everyone in Ruffrino’s life is content to live in the shadows of paradise, but he is young, gifted, and militant and can no longer stand to have heaven’s gate just beyond his reach. He’s out to save the world, wake up the zombies, and prove by any means necessary that Black Lives Matter.
Photos: DJ Corey Photography
by Caryl Churchill
October 31, 2016
Everyman Theatre Salon Series
Featuring Beth Hylton, Susan Rome, Tuyet Thi Pham, Emily Kester, Lilian Oben, and Jade Wheeler