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Fierce Love: Stories of Black Gay Life, by Pomo Afro Homos
The New Conservatory Theatre Center
San Francisco, CA
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Fierce Love: Stories of Black Gay Life, by Pomo Afro Homos
About the Play:
San Francisco's groundbreaking black queer performance troupe, Pomo Afro Homos, mixed theater, hip-hop, drama, dance, and comedy into a rich expression of African American gay life in the United States. Short for Postmodern African American Homosexuals, the newly-revived Bessie-winning group performs Fierce Love (Remix), a jazzy combination of wicked humor and personal narratives exploring the joys, conflicts, pleasures, pains, and contradictions of Black gay life. An updated recreation of the group's signature piece Fierce Love: Stories from Black Gay Life, Fierce Love (Remix) brings together original Pomo Afro Homos writer/performer/director Brian Freeman with a new crew of performers, including Duane Boutte, Thandiwe Thomas DeShazor, and Rashad Pridgen. The Pomos' indelible tales driven by clear and potent voices  from sad young men to signifying sissies to back room roamers  remain as raucous and fresh as when they first took to the stage, enriched by new resonance and poignancy

Pomo Afro Homos, the Black queer performance ensemble, formed in October 1990 and premiered their show Fierce Love: Stories from Black Gay Life in San Francisco in Spring 1991 at Josie's Cabaret and Juice Joint in San Francisco's Castro District. The 'Pomos' (as they were affectionately known) began as writer/performer Brian Freeman, poet/dancer Djola Branner, and the late actor/singer Eric Gupton, with additional company members poet/performer Marvin White and performer/drag personality Joan Jett Black joining later. The company existed as an ensemble from 1990-1995. The published scripts of the Pomos are regularly taught as part of African American, LGBT, and contemporary American theater history classes in colleges across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Nearly two decades after its premiere, Fierce Love, along with the other pieces by the Pomos, remain some of the few theatrical works exploring Black gay life.

The Pomos toured Fierce Love and their second show Dark Fruit extensively in to the early 1990s including: Public Theatre and Lincoln Center, New York City, Theatre Offensive, Boston, Dance Place, Washington, D.C., Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago, Sushi Gallery, San Diego, HIGHWAYS Performance Space, Santa Monica, OutNorth Theatre, Anchorage,  Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and DiverseWorks, Houston. Pomo Afro Homos were also presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London and at Drill Hall, London and at the National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta.  Pomo Afro Homos' Fierce Love (Remix) is a National Performance Network Re-creation Fund Project supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency), in partnership with Dance Place, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts , REDCAT, and Theatre Offensive.

AfroSolo Arts Festival's mission is to nurture, promote, and present African American and African Diaspora art and culture through solo performances and the visual arts. Since 1993, AfroSolo has provided a forum to give an authentic voice to the diverse experiences of Black people in the Americas. Through art, AfroSolo brings people of different ethnicities together to explore and share the human spirit that binds us all.

New Conservatory Theatre Center has been in operation for 31 years in San Francisco under the direction of founding Artistic Director Ed Decker. The theatre's mission is to champion innovative, high quality productions and educational theatre experiences for youth, artists, and the queer and allied communities to affect personal and societal growth, enlightenment, and change. New Conservatory Theatre Center is known for its gay-positive productions, its foundational anti-bullying work with youth, and its welcoming environment for new and emerging local artists.

Artistic Biographies:
Duane Boutte Broadway: Carousel (1994 Revival) and Parade.  Off-Broadway:  Playwrights Horizons, Public Theater, Vineyard Theatre and The Acting Company.  Regional appearances include Berkeley Rep. (Civil Sex and Oresteia), Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Alliance Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre (D.C.), Center Stage, Denver Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and more.  Film:  Stonewall, Brother to Brother and You Belong to Me.  Recent directing credits:  Stalag 17 (2nd Space, Fresno) and Othello (Stella Adler Conservatory, NY).  Duane has appeared in premieres by Terrence McNally, Charles Randolph Wright, John Logan, Kirsten Childs and Eric Overmyer and is a member of Vineyard Theatre's "Community of Artists."

Thandiwe Thomas DeShazor is an actor, writer and comedian originally from Detroit. He's performed at The Noodle Factory, The Red Poppy Art House, The Garage, The Shattuck DownLow, and The Best of the East Bay Party. He starred opposite Stanley Bennett Clay in his play, "Armstrong's Kid".  His solo "Children of the Last Days" was featured in the AfroSolo Arts Festival in 2009 and will be touring later this year.

Brian Freeman is a playwright, director, and performance artist. He has directed solo shows by Paul Flores, Seth Eisen, Robert Karimi, Regie Cabico, Jerry Quickley, Wayne Harris, Diane Ferlatte, Marijo, Wayne Corbett, Canyon Sam, experimental works with Bill T. Jones, Cultural Odyssey & Pomo Afro Homos (co-founder), and plays with the Mark Taper Forum, Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Theater Offensive and others. He was Resident Artist/Director at Blacksmyths Theater Lab at Center Theater Group, Los Angeles. His play Civil Sex, about the late Civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, was produced by Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Public Theater, and Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington, D.C. Awards include a California Arts Council Playwriting Fellowship, the CalArts Alpert Award in Theater and a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" award.

Rashad Pridgen has been a part of urban dance culture for more than 15 years, developing the "future dance aesthetic" alchemizing street dance vernacular for performance and workshop. He has performed with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., Ronald K. Brown/Nick Cave "Soundsuite", Rennie Harris': Illadelph Legends Festival, and appeared at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. A three year member of Jacinta Vlach/Liberation Dance Theater, he works with the Living Word/Hybrid Projects SF, Hip-Hop Theater Festival SF and Black Choreographers Festival, Oakland. Currently an adjunct faculty at University of San Francisco, he teaches Hip-Hop dance in the Performing Arts and Social Justice Department.



The New Conservatory Theatre Center (View)
25 Van Ness Ave., Lower Lobby
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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