2008

Expatriate

Written and composed by Lenelle Moîse
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Choreography by Nicco Annan

Claudie and Alphine, black American artists, are childhood friends struggling against the addiction and sexual trauma that runs in their family histories. They flee to Paris to realize their dreams of musical success, supporting themselves as performers on the streets of Paris, and rising to fame as singing group Black Venus. But while Claudie finds sexual freedom, artistic sustenance and spiritual regeneration through her new life – Alphine’s hunger for adoration from a celebrity-mad culture has tragic consequences.

Expatriate is an engaging exploration of black womanhood, friendship, sexuality, and freedom, celebrating characters in the spirit of Nina Simone, Josephine Baker, and the Hottentot Venus. With only a JamMan loop machine at their feet, real-life rising stars Lenelle Moïse and Karla Mosley make intricate, haunting and stirring music as they weave the story of singing group Black Venus's rise to fame.

“freshly imaginative”
– NY Post
“an abundance of heart and conviction”
– NYTheater.com

Expatriate, the explosive play with all-vocal music was hailed as “a feast for the eyes and ears” (NYTheater.com) and received rave reviews from critics!

Variety calls the show “compelling” and says “both thesps are sensational. Moise’s calm soulfulness is an excellent counterpoint to Mosley’s raw-nerve energy.”

NYTheater.com says, “Expatriate is certainly a force for good on the theatrical landscape… Director Tamilla Woodard’s direction is elegant, organic, and unpredictable.”

And Backstage says, “Lenelle Moise’s music, created by a JamMan loop machine and a powerful voice singing evocative lyrics, has a beat that gets under your skin, fascinating rhythm, and a real theatrical power.”

Read the NY Times review here.