Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bible Study for Heathens

Written by Yolanda K. Wilkinson

Directed by  Joey Rizzolo
Produced by New York Neo-Futurists

Nominated for:  Outstanding Solo Performance, Yolanda K. Wilkinson


About the Production
The New York Neo-Futurists “embrace those unreached or unmoved by conventional theater-inspiring them to thought, feeling, and action.” Yolanda K. Wilkinson’s solo play Bible Study for Heathens epitomizes this mission. It is the story of Yolanda's real-life journey through the ten different religions she has practiced over the years. In it she explores the what, why, and how of these experiences.

Writer performer
Yolanda K. Wilkinson and producer Kyra Sims talks about creating this very personal perspective on religion and politics.


What was the impetus to write this play?

Yolanda: The way this country and the world is being manipulated by religious zealots and/or Fundamentalists is something, I felt I had to speak to from my unique perspective of having practiced 10 religions. I wanted to reveal what was really in the Bible about social and monetary issues. And I wanted to remind people of the beautiful and simple spirituality that connects all of humankind, love.

What was your favorite part of this production?

Yolanda: There were so many parts of the production I enjoyed. I enjoyed the team I was fortunate enough to work with. They are all brilliant. Joey Rizzolo is one of the best directors with whom I have ever worked. He brought the best out of me and his imagination caused the space in which I performed to be that more dynamic. I also loved the space. The Loft at Judson Memorial Church was absolutely perfect for this play.

Kyra: Definitely load-in. We got to transform a church choir loft into a theatrical space. I've seen theatrics in religion for sure, but never quite in this way before. It was very cool.

What was the strangest thing about this production?

Yolanda: I chugged grape juice, drank red kool-aid, ate cookies, drank rum, ate a strawberry, drank disgusting wine, drank awesome wine, and ate tomato pesto bread every performance.

What is it like working with the New York Neo-Futurists?

Yolanda: The NY Neo Futurists are a truly supportive company in that the aesthetic itself forces and artist to reveal their true self and hone various skills so they can have various devices to use to build plays and tell stories.Every member of the company contributed their feedback in making the play and the show better.

And they took a chance on producing a solo play written and performed by a woman of color.
That is a testament to our commitment to true diversity.

What was it like working with Yolanda?

Kyra: Yolanda is one of the smartest and hardest-working artists I know. Her words and the way she delivers them are completely her own, yet they draw you in time and time again.

You can follow these artists on Twitter
New York Neo-Futurists - @nyneofuturists
Yolanda K. Wilkinson - @yeauxlanda 

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