About the Grant

$29,500 to support GIRL Shakes Loose Her Skin (MAP 2016)
$6,700 to general operating support for Penumbra Theatre

About the Project

GIRL Shakes Loose Her Skin is a musical theatrical exploration of one girl's journey to womanhood. Rooted in the history of the Black Arts Movement, GIRL draws upon the work of Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez in all of its personal and political dimensions to connect past and present experiences of women of color. The work is a radically new musical: the uplifting story of an “overqualified black girl” finding her way in a world where few have forged the path. This work will be crafted by two highly accomplished women of color, composer Imani Uzuri, and playwright Zakiyyah Alexander. GIRL represents the first musical of its kind, the coming of age story of an intellectual, bisexual, African American woman. It is an American narrative ready to take center stage.

The final production is slated for Penumbra’s 40th anniversary season. During this season, Founder and Artistic Director, Lou Bellamy will be transferring leadership to his daughter, current Co-Artistic Director Sarah Bellamy. To commemorate the moment Penumbra will be presenting two plays which will align with the artistic visions of the two leaders. Sarah Bellamy sees GIRL as a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the direction in which Penumbra is headed under her leadership – a fresh take on the critically important work of the past. The high profile of the transition will help highlight the work as a testament to the power, vibrancy, and joy contained in stories that are often marginalized; drawing upon our history to illuminate our future.

Related Websites

Penumbra Theatre

Imani Uzuri

Zakiyyah Alexander


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