Margaret Laurena Kemp
Location: Los Angeles/Sacramento/Davis
Kemp is a multi-disciplinary performing artist and theatre educator, investigating authorship and spatial politics through performance. She recently co-directed "The Bluest Eye" at the University of California, Davis. This production used puppetry to explore the impact white supremacy and double consciousness on the body voice as elements of narrative. She is a 2018 Mellon Public Scholar exploring the arts in community. She was recently awarded at 2017 performance residencies at The Headlands (USA) and Bundanon Trust (Australia). Within her performance practice Kemp is interested in questioning the how systems of scientific and social engineering manipulate voice, breath, flesh, communities and the natural world. She continues to toure her original theatrical work Confluence (previously entitled A Negro Speaks of Rivers) in which she uses spoken word, movement, original sound and video projection to explore the multifaceted nature of Afro-Caribbean cultural identity in the United States. Kemp has performed nationally and internationally at such venues as Beyond Baroque Arts Center (Los Angeles, California); The Magnet Theatre (Cape Town, South Africa); Theatre of Changes (Athens, Greece); La Mama Theatre (Melbourne, Australia); and Red Pear Theatre (Antibes, France). Recent Film Releases include “Dark Rite” 2018 "Ten Cent Daisy" 2019. Other film credits include a critically acclaimed starring role in the film "Children of God."
What can your voice do?
Can reveal my personal, historical past and gesture toward my future.
What is your area or field that you're using your voice in and how did you get into it?
I am interested in decolonizing our ears by decolonizing the voice. In doing so, I hope to expand representation on stage.
Did you have a moment when you realized that you could use your voice to make a difference in that field?
When a student said to me..."I didn't know I could (was allowed to ) sound like me."
What keeps you up at night?
That students are saying things like " I didn't know I could (was allowed to) sound like me.
What gives you hope?
Students who crave to open the doors to all types of people and voices.
By knowing what your voice can do in this field, what’s the impact you hope to have?
I already see the next generation taking action to change representation on the creative arts. In these challenging times...I am filled with anticipation for what comes next!
Any words to encourage others to use their voice in this world?
"Your silence will not protect you."- Audre Lord
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