San Francisco Fringe 2019
“Get Uncomfortable is a provocative performance addressing taboo subjects that have been normalized by traumatized silence within our marginalized communities. This one woman recital is a siren to awaken and shaken audiences to action. This profoundly compassionate performance will evoke you to move. Stop staring and start caring. Get Uncomfortable!”
Written by Nicia De’Lovely, she also performs this very personal and poignant choreopoem based on her experiences and those of her community. A choreopoem combines different performing art forms such song, poetry, dance and spoken word into an expressive piece that is usually dramatic, and it will also have a different structure from a theatrical play.
Program notes state that De’Lovely is a poet, multifaceted artist, anti-sexual abuse ARtivist and spirited survivor and entrepeneur. Her company Nicia De’Lovely Presents grass roots productions and creates “provocative survivor-based performances for education and healing of sexual trauma…She is acknowledged as a creative healer and a voice for the voiceless.”
“Why are we so comfortable with silence and so uncomfortable with action?” she asks – and from this one question the rest of the poem flows out of her with a waterfall of words and emotion.
Standing before us on a darkly lit shadowy stage she is dressed in pure white. Voiceovers and realistically muffled sound effects of gunshots then “you shot me because I’m black?” De’Lovely asks why this happened and is happening.
In the next stanza De’Lovely is vulnerable and you want to breathe with her – for her – as she talks in a stream of consciousness about society and its issues.
A disco scene with colored lights and a slight change of costume with the addition of tulle and ribbons and upbeat music is a poignant story about Eric.
She tries to help but is often too late.
The second half is more solid in structure and De’Lovely becomes different characters or sides of her own being, which provides different points of view. This provocative section focuses on abuse, and again, the words pour out of her eloquently even when dealing with such a tough issue.
Towards the end there is a fascinating abstract movement, piece without words, which is brief but very effective and could be expanded because it expressed so much physically. At the performance I attended there were pauses while she changed parts of her costume, some were a little too long while others were effectively covered by her speaking and leading into the next stanza. No doubt this will smooth itself out during the run.
De’Lovely’s creative poetic performance is raw, gripping, beautiful, moving and visceral.