Sweet Sadie (1994)

Sweet Sadie (1994) HIDVL

Sweet Sadie is the only solo-show (thus far) conceived, written and performed by Djola Branner.  It premiered at Patrick's Cabaret in Minneapolis in 1994, and subsequently toured to Winston-Salem, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Anchorage and Leicester, England. Sweet Sadie is inspiredby autobiography, and dramatizes Branner's tumultuous relationship with his mother. By physically embodying his mother in the first part of the performance, Branner performs his perceptions of his mother's trials and tribulations, feelings, and reactions to various life events that led up to Branner's birth and growth into a young man, exploring cultural and colloquial ideas of parenting as a single, divorced, black mother. Later, he switches into his own persona to speak about how he felt as a young, gay, black man raised by a woman like his mother, demonstrating his effort to empathize with his mother. The second half of the performance focuses on Branner coping with the slow loss of his mother through Alzheimer's, and her subsequent death. Ultimately unable to reconnect with her, he found solace in reaching out to her spirit through song and reminiscence. Sweet Sadie stands as Branner's love letter and testament to his mother, exploring the rocky yet tender relationship between the two and how, without her presence in his life, Branner would not be where he is today, in his life or in his art.


Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/gmsbcgst

Additional Info

  • Title: Sweet Sadie
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 01:00:39
  • Language: English
  • Date: 26 Oct 1994
  • Location: Recorded at Josie's Juice Joint & Cabaret in San Francisco, CA.
  • Type-Format: play, performance
  • Cast: Djola Branner, performer; "Harmonica" Mike Handler, performer.
  • Credits: Djola Branner, writer; Susan Finque, director; "Harmonica" Mike Handler, composer; Venus de Mars (Steve Grandell), video designer.
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