by donja r. love. world premiere. premiered: atlantic theater, linda gross theater, nyc. october 2018. directed by saheem ali. sets: arnulfo maldonado. costumes: dede ayite. lights: david weiner. sound and original music: justin ellington. projections: alex bosco koch. choreographer: raja feather kelly. photography: ahron r. foster, arnulfo maldonado.
"Unearthing the role of gay black people in American history is a crucial proposition. I was moved by Mr. Love’s willingness to imagine, amid the terror of the times and also the shipshape domesticity of the Grace kitchen as rendered in Arnulfo Maldonado’s set design, other kinds of lives than the ones that history books offer. And as embodied by the fine performers here, under the direction of Saheem Ali, those lives really do seem alive." -- on FIREFLIES, The New York Times.
"Olivia has taken the seemingly endless violence of the outside world into her body, and Ali and his designers have done an ingenious job of turning that process of painful assimilation back around. They’ve built and scored a space that physicalizes Olivia’s trouble in mind. Arnulfo Maldonado’s set suspends the Grace’s kitchen as a realistically furnished island in a sea of empty space, surrounded by a slice of curving backdrop where projections designer Alex Basco Koch gives us swirls of sky, often bloody in color and disturbed by the flicker of imagined — or perhaps real — bombs." -- on FIREFLIES, New York Magazine.
"Set designer Arnulfo Maldonado, lighting designer David Weiner, and projection designer Alex Basco Koch collaborate to make that vividly real with a cyclorama that surrounds the cozy kitchen where the entire play takes place. Created with careful period detail by Maldonado, their little house serves as flimsy shelter from the beautiful, burnt orange sunsets that are both magnificent and menacing. Olivia's flashbacks explode like fireworks in an already crimson sky, and Justin Ellington's unnerving sound design makes those imagined bombings feel unsettlingly real." -- on FIREFLIES, Theatermania.