Written, directed, choreographed and starring transgender performer Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Klytmnestra: an Epic Slam Poem is set in the cemetery of Black Art and African Priestess, a Dead Queen, a face that launched a thousand ships, a minstrel, a gangsta rapper, and many more gather to weave a tale of a father’s betrayal, a mother’s love, and a fight to reclaim one’s authentic self through ancestor reverence and honoring the Goddess.
Klytmnestra, the less famous and yet equally as beautiful, twin to Helen of Troy, always fascinated me. She was High Queen of Greece and married to the man who murdered not1 but 2 of her children. Varied in literature as the men of the Trojan War, one thing is consistent; her axe slays her husband Agamemnon in retribution.
Klytmnestra was the perfect subject for the one woman show in my Mother Africa Cycle which deals with colonization and Indigenous people. Whereas Helen is seen as the passive receptor of the whims of both Gods and Men; Klytmnestra is the mother who by any means necessary will punish those who wrong her children. She is nature raging against the destruction of her body, she is the ancient Mother who so many attempt to forget and yet who can’t; She is Mother Africa who has been ravaged by time and yet who’s story flows in all of our veins; she is what happens when the dignified can no longer suffer indignities.
The free reading of Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem is tonight and tomorrow at 8 PM at Spooky Action Theater – 1810 16th Street, NW, in Washington, DC. Here are directions.