As part of The Glassblock’s sponsored partnership with the New Hazlett Theater, The Glassblock will be presenting a series of editorially-independent previews and reviews of the 2016-2017 Community Supported Art (CSA) Performance Series. Follow along here, and learn more about how you can experience this season’s CSA here.
On the second floor of the Carnegie Library Homewood branch one recent morning, we met with Dr. Jason Mendez, a professor with a background in urban and social foundation education, cultural studies, and Latino studies, and, FaceTiming from Iowa City, Iowa, where she’s currently a fellow at the celebrated Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Dr. Tameka Cage Conley, a literary artist who works in poetry, fiction, essays, and plays. Though they’ve known each other for less than two years, Drs. Mendez and Conley have formed a close friendship that has turned into artistic collaboration. Accepted into the New Hazlett Theater’s CSA Series, Mendez and Conley are in the final days of preparing Redemption: Sons, a duologue based on shared experience of loss and trauma that in purposeful ways has condensed their relationship and correspondence into what aims to be a confessional, therapeutic performance.
In our discussion in advance of their December 8th debut, we touched on a number of topics, including the themes and stage development of Redemption: Sons, identity and family, and the experience of transitioning from the role of academic to one of an artist-activist. Below is a lightly edited transcript in advance of their December 8th debut.