Words of the Prophets

A Spoken-Word/Dance Performance

“The words of the prophets are written on subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sound of silence.” – Simon and Garfunkel

Arranged and Directed by
Janell Hobson

The Three Graces

First Grace – Nicole Wan
Second Grace – Joanelle Lusk
Third Grace – Tibisay Hernandez

Nicole Wan, Tibisay Hernandez, Joanelle Lusk.

(Photo by Mark Schmidt)

Libby Becker

Amina Ayad
Tibisay Hernandez

News Release

Watch the Performance on Video

November 30, 2006
6 pm
University Art Museum


An opening reception will begin at 4:30 pm. Come early for refreshments. Discussion will follow performance.

Note from the Director:
Words of the Prophets is both an invocation and celebration, a "looking back" and "moving forward" as the muses of poetry, past and present, are summoned for our annual student conference that pays tribute to Women's Studies at the University at Albany in its 35-year history. Borrowing from the theatrical traditions of the African Diaspora and of Ancient Greece, the Three Graces - who alternate in their roles as the Three Furies or the Three Fates (reinterpreted in Judeo-Christian and other traditions as female Prophets) - effortlessly weave spoken-word and poetry with music and dance, the sacred and the secular, hip-hop and graffiti. Covering diverse topics, from femicide in Juarez to wars and the everyday violence that all women face, from sexual objectification to erotic reclamation, this collaborative performance offers a message of hope and resistance. Beginning with the words of "Warrior Poet" Audre Lorde, the Three Graces intermix original poetry offered by the director and performers with the prophetic wisdom and playful banter expressed in the beat poetry of Jayne Cortez, the free verse of '70s-era feminist poets Adrienne Rich, Chrystos, Mitsuye Yamada and Ntozake Shange, the passionate ethos of June Jordan and Lucille Clifton, and the hip-hop flavor of spoken-word poets Sarah Jones and Amalia Ortiz. This performance also pays homage to the choreopoem structure of Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, which debuted on Broadway 30 years ago, itself modeled after Judy Grahn's The Common Woman. We honor the feminist past and herald our feminist future in this multiracial, multi-faith, and multi-voiced collage of energy, creativity, and wisdom. *Some strong and adult language is included.