Fresh off a screening of “Angry Black Women” at the New York Television Festival, Emmy-nominated writer, producer, performer, HaJ, is bringing her ground-breaking interactive off-Broadway show to Atlanta. Said to be “Real Time with Bill Maher” meets “SNL,” The Urban Chameleons with Funnel Cake Flowers examines the miscommunications that often occur between people of various races and ethnicities in corporate, social, and media settings. HaJ also created the Tickles.TV digital multimedia platform to deliver entertaining, enlightening, and irreverent satirical content and conversation.
The original live stage show ran off-Broadway in New York City as part of both the International Fringe Festival and the United Solo Theatre Festival. In a fresh, modern-day spin on civil rights activist W.E.B Du Bois’ theory of double consciousness, HaJ refers to those who instinctively adapt two minds — a crucial survival tactic for people of color living in America — as Urban Chameleons.
“Urban Chameleons can be described as people of color who may flip between CNN and ‘Love & Hip Hop,’ listen to Adele and Chance the Rapper, eat fried chicken and sushi, shop the dollar store and Gucci,” HaJ explained in a press release, “Being an Urban Chameleon is both survival technique and skill.”
Using her hilarious deadpan style, HaJ drives the action as quirky news reporter Funnel Cake Flowers, who uncovers the truth and complexities beneath the surface motivating the contemporary Urban Chameleon. The show offers timely perspective on why people of color often feel the need to police their emotions in front of their White counterparts.
“There will be lots of thought-provoking dialogue to spark meaningful and productive conversation in the car ride home, which may likely spill over into the office,” said HaJ.
Co-producer and director Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., who happens to be the mother of HaJ, also serves as division chair of Arts & Humanities at Spelman College. The powerhouse film pioneer is one of the first Black women to write, produce and direct a 35mm feature film, Alma’s Rainbow. The pair enlisted Atlanta-based The Dropouts visual arts collective to create dope imagery promoting the private premiere performance on Thursday, Dec.1, 2016, at 7 p.m..
The Carnegie Mellon University alumna is also inviting audiences to live-stream the insightful and innovative performance on Tickles.TV, and to join the discussion on Twitter using #ticklestvFCFLIVESHOW.