Performance poet Oneness Sankara’s new play Chasing Rainbows, a mother’s poetic love letter written to a daughter separated from her by space and time, will premiere at London’s Hoxton Hall this summer. Book your tickets now!
Directed by Karena Johnson, the production runs from 25 June to 20 July 2019.
Chasing Rainbows tells the story of Amanda (called Ama), a driven academic, as she trains and becomes the first Caribbean woman in space. She achieves her goal, but at considerable cost to her family life. Ama has been an overachiever throughout her life, resisting conformity to make something of herself. But instead of being an inspiration to other girls, Ama is condemned as a ruthless career woman who abandoned her child in order to take to the sky. As she prepares an address for her daughter’s graduation whilst orbiting the Earth, she ponders the cost of “chasing rainbows.” Blending verse and prose with a psychological aerial performance, the production explores the challenges of expectations and chasing your dreams, and the agonising cost of being a role model.
The piece is inspired by the story of Trinidad-born aerospace engineer, Dr Camille Alleyne, who left her home at the age of 18 to move to America and pursue her scientific ambitions. She earned two masters degrees and worked for the US Department of Defense and NASA, where, from 4,000 applicants, she made it to the final 100 of the elite astronaut programme. Though she didn’t make it onto the final list, she went on to work on NASA’s Constellation, Orion and International Space Station programmes. In 2007, she launched The Brightest Stars Foundation, dedicated to helping young women become future leaders int he fields of science, maths and technology.
Donna Berlin takes the leads role of astronaut Ama. Her recent stage credits include Eclipse Theatre’s Princess and the Hustler, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Crucible Theatre), The Chalk Garden (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Great Apes (Arcola Theatre). She’s joined in the production by Emmanuele Toure, who makes her stage debut in Chasing Rainbows.
Johnson, who directs, is the Artistic Director of Hoxton Hall who relaunched the venue in 2015 as a home for contemporary variety performance. She’s joined in the creative team by designer Libby Watson, lighting designer Rob Callender, sound designer Andrew Williams, movement directors Merryn Novelle and Lucy Francis, and casting director Briony Barnett. AirCraft Circus Performance provide aerial consultancy.
Chasing Rainbows runs at Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton St, London N1 6SH from 25 June to 20 July 2019 with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, matinees 26 June & 20 July at 2pm. Tickets are priced from £12. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
About Oneness Sankara
Oneness Sankara is a writer, singer, songwriter, actress, director and musician. Her work has been performed at Glastonbury, the Royal Festival Hall, the BBC and SKY. She is the first artist outside of North America to win an award at The Toronto International Poetry Slam. She is also the only female member of the award-winning poetry quartet, Best Kept Secret.