Okwui Okpokwasili
Adaku’s Revolt

World Premiere • TILT Commission

Thursday, March 14 at 4:30pm
Friday, March 15 at 6:30pm
Saturday, March 16 at 3 & 6:30pm
Sunday, March 17 at 3pm

Friday, March 22 at 6:30pm
Saturday, March 23 at 3 & 6:30pm
Sunday, March 24 at 3pm

Abrons Arts Center

Theater • Ages 7 & up • 60 mins

MacArthur Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili tells the story of a young black girl who summons her inner strength to revolt against imposed beauty standards and wear her hair naturally.

Creator and performer Okpokwasili and designer and director Peter Born collaborate on an interdisciplinary approach towards examining gender and culture through this captivating performance. The name Adaku, in the Igbo language spoken in Okpokwasili’s native Nigeria, means “one who brings wealth to the family.” In this narrative, Adaku’s wealth lies in protecting the precious landscape of her hair from existential threats. Often a young black girl with un-straightened hair is perceived by society as exuding signals of rebellion, unruliness, madness, and ugliness. Adaku’s Revolt tackles what it might mean for a young girl to feel healthy and free from pain, even if she risks being ostracized.

Created by Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born
Choreography by Okwui Okpokwasili
Direction and Design by Peter Born
Performed by Okwui Okpokwasili & 3 performers
Production managed by Michaelangelo DeSerio
Produced by Miranda Wright & Lucy Jackson for Los Angeles Performance Practice


Abrons Arts Center,
466 Grand Street,
New York, NY 10002

Adaku’s Revolt is commissioned for the TILT Kids Festival by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) with funding provided by The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and created with support from the Abrons Arts Center through the Abrons AIRspace Residency Program.

Photo © Peter Born