Giving BIPOC women playwrights the opportunity to deeply interrogate the critical issues of our time using investigative theatre techniques
3GT Investigates commissions teams of BIPOC women playwrights to deeply interrogate social justice issues critical to BIPOC women using investigative/documentary theatre techniques. The program, directed by artist and community organizer Cat Brooks, focuses on intersectional crises facing women of color. Each project is led by a playwright who is also a community member and advocate for the issues being dramatized. She is partnered with community organizations to ensure those most affected by the issues explored are respectfully involved in the development process and invited to performances and talk backs. 3GT provides financial, artistic, and logistical support throughout the research, writing, rehearsal, and production stages of script development.
The emergence of investigative and documentary theatre in recent decades has paved the way for dramatic work that evokes a visceral response to real-world issues from audience and performers. 3GT Investigates was designed to allow our writers to respond with immediacy to current social justice issues that shape our lives and infringe our civil rights. Because 3GT believes the most critical issues confronting our community today arise from profound crises affecting women of color, as of 2020 the 3GT Investigates program is exclusively dedicated to supporting and giving voice to BIPOC women playwrights.
We put up “scratch” performances of 3GT Investigates scripts in development as the works progress. To learn more about the current project (either as a writer or a sponsor), “3GT Investigates: Surviving Oakland,” contact Program Director Cat Brooks. To inquire about bringing our 2018 play, “3GT Investigates: Birth Rights,” to your community space, home or workplace, contact Zach Kopciak.
3GT Investigates: Stolen Bodies on Stolen Land
MORNING STAR GALI AND yAyA Porras
Morning Star Gali and J. yAyA Porras, as part of the 3GT Investigates program led by Cat Brooks, look to tell the untold stories of missing and murdered Native and Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit relatives throughout California, with an emphasis on those living in urban environments.
Morning Star Gali is an artist, culture keeper, tribal organizer, and mother who has been involved in movements for the protection of indigenous cultural traditions and sacred lands since childhood. Born and raised in Oakland, CA, she has worked for a number of Bay Area Indigenous organizations over the past 10 years including the American Indian Film Institute, American Indian Family Healing Center, and American Indian Public Charter School. In the past 6 + years, she has been an active community organizer volunteering in the efforts to protect sacred places such as the Medicine Lake Highlands. She became involved in contemporary modern and traditional dance performances and has continued being involved in the creation and promotion of American Indian contemporary arts at the grassroots and institutional level as a tribal organizer and advocate on the frontlines of land defense movements and campaigns for the protection of sacred lands and waterways through campaigns and collaborations with young contemporary and traditional Native artists, dancers and singers.
3GT Investigates: Surviving Oakland
The goal of 3GT Investigates: Surviving Oakland is first and foremost to raise up the voices and untold stories of missing and murdered Black women in connection with Oakland’s place as a major stop on the global human trafficking circuit. California consistently has the highest number of human-trafficking incidents reported in the U.S., and the FBI refers to the SF Bay Area as one of the world’s major sex trafficking hubs. In Oakland, 98% of trafficking victims are female, 64% are Black. Black women similarly make up an overwhelming majority of cases of missing persons in Alameda County, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the subject.
Lead Artist Cat Brooks will lead the Surviving Oakland writing team as they conduct and dramatize interviews with a diverse community of survivors and advocates connected to Oakland’s crisis. Interviews will take the form of conversations between our writers and survivors, as well as free-writing exercises to give survivors creative agency to explore and share their stories in their voices. The final script will incorporate stories, text, and footage from the live interviews, poetry, and first person testimony accounts gathered during our research to raise up the voices and untold stories of Oakland’s Black, missing, murdered, and trafficked women.
3GT Investigates: Birth Rights
Birth Rights explores the 2017 "Jane Doe" court case, in which a 17 year old pregnant woman was detained while trying to cross the US border. She wanted and, thanks to the ACLU, eventually had an abortion, but the case brings to mind a whole constellation of issues surrounding women's reproductive rights, and the rights of human beings more broadly as they try to cross the US border without documentation.
Actor, playwright, poet, political activist. . . the multitalented Cat Brooks began her theater career at the age of 8 and later obtained her B.A. in theater with an emphasis on classical works. After graduation, she studied at the Royal National Theater Studio in London. Cat has performed across the world including playing Lady Macbeth at the Edinburgh Theater Festival in Scotland. In July 2016, Cat starred in 3GT’s production of Robin Bradford’s LOW HANGING FRUIT, for which she received a BATCC Best Actress nomination. Cat’s 2018 Festival-winning play ‘TASHA, originally scheduled for its 3GT world premiere in 2020, will be staged as soon as we can go back to the theatre. Current Project: 3GT Investigates: Black, Missing, Murdered, Trafficked. Community Partner: SHADE