NYC performer welcomes a world without anti-Blackness in “immersive abolitionist fairy-tale,” ‘Neptune’
This month, artist and poet Timothy DuWhite will be debuting the world premiere of his play Neptune, a creative performance piece exploring the possibility of a world without white supremacy and queer-antagonism.
DuWhite tells Afropunk, “Neptune is my abolitionist attempt to construct a world to which I have no current blueprint other than my desire for me and mine to live happy, fulfilled, joyous lives. Black people deserve Neptune.”
In an interview with the Black Youth Project (slightly edited for clarity), DuWhite explains the premise:
The world (in which Neptune takes place) isn’t necessarily too many steps away from our current world. Anti-Blackness still works as the equilibrium and the basis of the existence of everything else. In the world of the play this is emphasized in the fact that being Hard to Love (HTL) is criminalized. So basically, all the things that contribute to you feeling unlovable—be it your past trauma, be it your gender identity, be it your very Blackness—is enough to get you placed inside of a cage. Prisons are filled to the brim with HTLs.
“I’ve been toying with how I would classify Neptune,” DuWhite continues. “The closest description I’ve gotten so far is that Neptune is an immersive abolitionist fairy-tale. It is fantastical in the way it takes the very real, very dangerous, very tangible, and renegotiates it in a way where Black people survive, create, and transcend.”
When asked what viewers can expect from the play, DuWhite says, “Neptune is a one-man show that uses moments of heightened poetic language, along with a complex narrative engine to get the main character Wayne, as well as the audience, finally to that place.”