Art + Activism Intertwined

Steps on a path

root wy'mn theatre company
root wy'mn theatre company

1958

Sharon Bridgforth is born to Sonja Annjeanette Bridgforth in Chicago.

1961

The family moves to Los Angeles.

1973

Bridgforth starts writing poetry.

1982

Daughter Sonja Perryman is born.

1985

Bridgforth starts working as a family-planning counselor at Planned Parenthood.

1989

Bridgforth moves to Austin. For the next nine years, she works with the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department as a disease intervention specialist, HIV-tester, educator, and outreach worker.

1990

Word of Mouth Women's Theatre produces Bridgforth's handwritten poems as a one-woman show, sonnata blue, performed by Starla Benford.

1993

Art + Activism Intertwined

Bridgforth founds root wy'mn theatre company and premieres lovve/rituals & rage at the Vortex.

Bridgforth directs The Wrap It Up Show, a Planned Parenthood-sponsored call-in radio show on KAZI for teenagers to discuss safer sex and relationships.

1994

root wy'mn tours lovve/rituals & rage to San Antonio and Chicago.

1995

Bridgforth gets sober in Austin.

root wy'mn tours no mo blues.

1996

Bridgforth receives a residency at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis.

1997

Bridgforth's "that beat" is included in does your mama know?: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Coming Out Stories, published by RedBone Press.

no mo blues is produced in Minneapolis and North Carolina.

dyke/warrior-Prayers is produced at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and in Chicago, North Carolina, and Austin.

1998

Bridgforth begins to work with international theatre pioneer Laurie Carlos.

Bridgforth's performance novel the bull-jean stories is published by RedBone Press and wins a Lambda Literary award.

<i>con flama</i>, Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre
con flama, Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre

Laurie Carlos directs blood pudding at Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre.

Bridgforth and then-partner Luz Guerra start the Institute for Radical Living in their living room. The free group, which teaches young artists of color about history, alliance-building, writing, and social justice tools, meets weekly for two years.

1999

Bridgforth establishes the Finding Voice method of creative writing, leading writers to "examine the socio-political realities of their lives in a form that is part poetry, part oral history."

Bridgforth is voted Best Author/Poet in The Austin Chronicle "Best of Austin" Readers Poll.

2000

The Theatre Communications Group/National Endowment for the Arts grants Bridgforth a playwright-in-residence award at Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre, which produces her play con flama.

2001

YWCA votes Bridgforth Woman of the Year in Arts & Communications.

Bridgforth facilitates workshops at the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center in San Antonio.

2002

Bridgforth helps organize Fire & Ink: A Writers Festival for GLBT People of African Descent at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Bridgforth teaches Point of Entry: Radical Writing/Historical Context in the Americas at Hamilton College in New York.

The Center for African & African American Studies at UT-Austin hires Bridgforth as "anchor artist" for the Austin Project, bringing women scholars, artists, and activists together for a 10-week artistic process.

2003

Bridgforth is named artist-in-residence at ALLGO.

Art + Activism Intertwined

With her daughter Sonja Perryman, Bridgforth records amniotic/flow, a spoken-word and music CD exploring the queer mother-straight daughter bond.

Bridgforth curates "Bringing Light Spoken Word/Performance Season" at Resistencia Bookstore.

On 91.7 KVRX Radio Caracol, Bridgforth curates the finding voice radio show to present new voices of women artists.

2004

love conjure/blues is published by RedBone Press and wins an Urban Spectrum Black Book Award.

Bridgforth and Jennifer Margulies co-edit the anthology voices for racial justice: eliminating racism, empowering women.

ALLGO appoints Bridgforth artistic director.

2005

Bridgforth is diagnosed with cervical cancer and has a radical hysterectomy.

Bridgforth teaches Community Activism/Internships for UT's Center for African & African American Studies.

2007

delta dandi is commissioned by Women & Their Work through a Creation Fund Award granted by the National Performance Network.

2008

Bridgforth wins an Alpert/Hedgebrook Residency Prize.

2009

delta dandi premieres at the Long Center.

Bridgforth maps her move to Los Angeles, via a year of artistic collaborations in New York City.

2010

The Austin Project Archive: Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic, co-edited by Bridgforth, Dr. Joni L. Jones/Omi Osun Olomo, and Dr. Lisa L. Moore, will be published by University of Texas Press.

  • More of the Story

  • A Revolution of Spirit

    Ritual jazz theatre pioneer Sharon Bridgforth premieres a new work, her last in Austin

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