June 16 7:30 pm

FORCE! an opera in three acts
Created and directed by Anna Martine Whitehead with Ayanna Woods
Composed by Philip ArmstrongAngel Bat Dawid, Ayanna Woods
Performers, including dancers, musicians, and vocalists, include Anna Martine Whitehead, Ayanna Woods, Daniella Pruitt, Tramaine Parker, Zachary Nicol, Jenn Freeman, Rahila Coats, Kai Black, Teiana Davis and others.

Come dialogue with the artists and get a sneak peek of FORCE!, a new opera in development. FORCE! is a story of Black femme dreaming on the edges of a prison, in its waiting room. As the opera develops, artists will be sharing work in progress and opening the space up to a participatory jam-session. Come ready to make sound, move your body, and join in song with the FORCE! constellation. If you’re more comfortable on the sidelines, come and watch. Artists are here to lift up, in particular, Black, Indigenous, and queer and femme folks of color, but all are welcome to hold space with us! FORCE! will be in residence developing work throughout the festival, and this event includes a public presentation with the artists and creator Anna Martine Whitehead and Grammy-nominated performer, composer, and co-director, Ayanna Woods as well as the ensemble members listed above.

Reserve tickets at link above for the Thursday, June 16 | 7:30pm showing at the Edge Theater 5451 N. Broadway Street, Chicago.

Anna Martine Whitehead does performance from the homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe and Bodéwadmiakiwen (Potawatomi) Nations; as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Sauk and Meskwaki; the Kiikaapoi, Peoria, and the Očeti Šakówiŋ (Sioux) Nations. They’ve been working in abolition feminist dreamland with the FORCE! constellation since late 2019.

Ayanna Woods is a Grammy-nominated performer, composer and bandleader from Chicago. Her music explores the spaces between acoustic and electronic, traditional and esoteric, wildly improvisational and mathematically rigorous. A collaborator across genres and forms, her work spans new music, theater, film scoring, arranging, songwriting, and improvisation. She earned her B.A. in music from Yale University. Woods has been commissioned by Third Coast Percussion, Chanticleer, The Crossing, the Percussive Arts Society, Manual Cinema, Lorelei ensemble, the Chicago Children’s Choir, Boston Children’s Choir, and Chicago Chamber Choir. Her music appears in a range of film and theater projects. Two of her songs are featured in the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls. In 2017, she and her sister Jamila Woods co-composed the score for No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, a live film created by writers Eve Ewing, Nate Marshall, and Emmy-winning performance collective Manual Cinema. She continues to tour the U.S. and Canada with Manual Cinema as a bassist and music director. As a gigging musician, she is a sought-after bassist and improvisor. She toured the west coast and performed at Pitchfork Music Festival in 2019 as bassist for TASHA. She’s currently recording a debut album with her own band, Yadda Yadda.