This week, David and Joey chat with Helen Hayes Award-winning performance artist Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi to hear about her incredible upbringing by a family of artists, the road that lies ahead for Black and Brown trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people post the 2020 election, and the importance of the role an artist plays in our society. Today’s episode is released in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Dubbed "The Ancient Jazz Priestess of Mother Africa", Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi is a Black, African, Cuban, Indigenous, American Trans performance artist, author (Yemaya’s Daughters, Brew, Wither, Baltimore: A Love Letter, Keeper, Remains: A Gathering Of Bones, Incarnate, For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss A Mother Fucker Out When Snatching An Edge Ain’t Enough, Solace, Infrastructure Of A Nation).
She is a Helen Hayes nominated actress, author, educator, speech writer and Helen Hayes Award winning Playwright (Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem (2020), For Black Trans Girls…, Ghost/Writer, The Diaz Family Talent Show, Quest of The Reed Marsh Daughter, The Dance of Memories), Advocate, Dramaturg, a 2x Helen Hayes Award nominated choreographer (2016, 2018) and co-editor of the Black Trans Prayer Book.
She is the founder of The Inanna D Initiatives, which curates, produces and cultivates events and initiatives designed to center and celebrate the work of TGNC Artists of Color.
Considered one of the most prolific artists of our time, she is the first Trans woman of color to be nominated for a Helen Hayes Award (2016) and in DC to publish a work of Fiction (Yemaya’s Daughters (2013).
She is the curator and a co-producer of Long Wharf Theatre’s Black Trans Women At The Center: An Evening of Short Plays.
Her radio play, Quest of The Reed Marsh Daughter, can be heard on the Girl Tale’s Podcast, and her play The Diaz Family Talent Show can be read on the Play at Home Website.
She was featured as Patra in King Ester and acted as a story consultant for the series. She wrote episode 9 (Refuge) of Round House Theater’s web series Homebound, and was one of the writers for Arena Stage’s short film The 51st State.
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This episode was mixed and edited by Iris Zacarías (she/they)