Queens of Sheba • Jessica L. Hagan

Queens of Sheba • Jessica L. Hagan

In partnership with Under the Radar
Friday, February 2, 2024–Sunday, February 4, 2024

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Program Notes: 


Presented by Nouveau Riche and Soho Theatre
By Jessica L. Hagan and Ryan Calais Cameron
Directed by Jessica Kaliisa
Cast: Paisley Billings, Déja J Bowens, Jadesola Odunjo, Muki Zubis
Producer for Nouveau Riche: Sarah Verghese
Producers for Soho Theatre: David Luff and Maddie Wilson
Communications & Marketing: Yasmin Mehboob-Khan
Stage Manager: Marie Angelique St Hill
Vocal Coach: Theo Llewellyn
Movement Director: Yami Löfvenberg
Voice & Movement Coach: Greta Mendez
Dramatherapist: Wabriya King
Associate Director: Abigail 'Töpia' Adebayo
Original Movement Director: Yassmin V Foster

The four powerful Black women that form the beating heart of Jessica L. Hagan’s knowingly sharp and riotously funny choreopoem Queens of Sheba demand respect and, with every story told, they earn it. A spiritual successor to Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, Queens incisively calls out and lances the constellation of racist, sexist and colorist micro- and macro-aggressions that its characters encounter: the music and the misogyny, the dancing and the drinking, the women and, of course, the (white) men. Turned away from a nightclub for being “too Black”, the Queens navigate the minefields of misogynoir, seeking power among the songs of Tina Turner and Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin, finding elevation in sisterhood, sweet relief in the riot of laughter and the shedding of tears. Playful, intellectually rigorous, packed with righteous fury and genuine soul, Queens of Sheba is a unique meditation on Black Women’s identity, suffering and joy.

“Gives insight to the black female experience, but is fundamentally about speaking one’s own truth.”

–The Guardian


Presented in partnership with UNDER THE RADAR Festival
Mark Russell, Festival Director & ArKtype, Festival Producer

The Clarice is thrilled to present these performances of Queens of Sheba in partnership with New York's celebrated UNDER THE RADAR festival. After the renewed theater and performance festival runs at venues throughout Manhattan in January 2024, RADAR will extend its reach beyond New York City with its On the Road program–with The Clarice as one of its stops.


The performance is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council and The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.