Stephanie Batiste - Bootleg Theater Creation Residency

Stephanie Batiste

Stephanie Leigh Batiste is an artist/scholar and scholar/artist navigating the shifting line between creation and analysis, ideas and meaning, with delicacy and force in writing, teaching, and performance. Associate Professor of Black Studies and English at The University of California at Santa Barbara and Director of the Hemispheric South/s Research Initiative, Batiste’s specialty areas include Black Performance Studies, African American Literature and Culture, American Studies including US history and culture, Cultural Studies, and Race and Racism. Her book, Darkening Mirrors: Imperial Representation in Depression Era African American Performance (Duke University Press, 2011) focuses on the relationship between power and identity in black performance cultures to reimagine black life and ways of being

​​. Darkening Mirrors won the MLA William Sanders Scarborough Prize and honorable mention for the ATHE Book Award. Batiste’s current book project Fallings, Resurrections, and the Spaces Between studies violence and affect in millennial black urban performance cultures in Los Angeles. She is co-editor of the NYU Book Series Performance and American Cultures. Her solo-show Stacks of Obits about street murder in Los Angeles has been performed nationally and internationally. An award-winning actress for her work in Cassandra Medley’s Relativity (Pittsburgh, PA), Batiste dedicates most of her performance work these days to devising adaptations of literary and original material to the stage with her students. She is eminently grateful for the singular opportunity to work on her developing play with the great Jessica Hanna and the phenomenal Bootleg family. Thank you for being with us!



Blue Gold and Butterflies, Stephanie Leigh Batiste’s play under construction at the Bootleg Theater Creation Residency, examines the possibility of inter-generational love sustained and passed down between three generations of women in an African American family. Moving like a butterfly lighting through time, emotional flashes revealed in poetic reflection chart each character’s spiritual development. The play highlights each woman’s journey to become her best self in relation to her experiences, struggles, and choices. Toying with the unreliability of memory, time, and their impact on becoming, Blue Gold and Butterflies allows Ruby, Marie, Eloise, and their past and future alter-child, Girl, to exist in separate and colliding spaces and moments.


Watch a new piece come to life and be a part of this new creation!


Week 1 - June 14, 15, 16:

Week 2 - June 21, 22, 23, 24: 

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