THE WORK (2009-2013)
Following are highlights of both the work of The Iruke Project and the work of Butterfly Williams (aka Anthony Julius Williams, MFA and PhD candidate) as an independent artist from 2009 to 2013:
The Iruke Project's "SHAFTED: The Blaqxsploitation Project" is an interactive variety show that takes a queer look at 1970s Blaxploitation films, "urban renewal," and Black self-love. Fifteen Black and other artists diverse in age, gender and sexuality will present performances, music, dance, spoken word and films on June 7 & 8, 2013, at 7:30 pm at the African-American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street in San Francisco, as part of the National Queer Arts Festival. Audiences are invited to dress in 1970s disco, soul & funk costumes! (Click here, and click here.)
Performances, music, dance, spoken word and films by Star Amerasu, Brock Cocker, Sheila Collins, M. J. Isabell, Ernest Jolly, Dennis Jones, DaCarla Kilpatrick, Derek Lassiter, Mia McKenzie, Marc Scruggs, and Anthony Julius Williams -- with special appearance by Agatronica, Gail Burks and Loan Hoang -- and vinyl by DJ Lamont!
(performance photos by Robbie Sweeny; stoop photo by DaCarla Kilpatrick; interior photos by Hawa Arsala/Browntourage.com)
THE WITCH HOUSE:
As an independent director, Anthony directed the sold-out run of the world premiere of "The Witch House," a new play by Morgan Bassichis, at The Garage in San Francisco on January 16, 17, 25 and 26, 2013. The play examined America's culture of enemy-making by revisiting the Salem Witch Trials through the eyes of three boys haunted by the Accusers and a chorus of bees possessed by the Accused. (Click here.)
Performed by Amy Marie Haven, Aylin Guvenc, Derik K. Cowan, Kimberly Legg, Morgan Bassichis, Star Amerasu, Susannah Freedman and Tyler Null.
(poster by Lis Goldschmidt, gallery photos by Kelly Puleio)
YOUR NOVEL YOUR ROMANCE:
Together with Amie Spitler, Anthony created the window installation, "Your Novel Your Romance," for Shakespeare & Co., an independent bookseller located near the University of California at Berkeley. Based on an iconic photograph of Mario Savio by photographer Duke Downey, the window display celebrates the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. The bookstore began displaying the installation on January 19, 2013. (Click here.)
(photo by Amie Spitler)
Along with Dan Bouthot, Anthony co-produced "Text-A-City: Start Ups for Sustainable Communities," a night of interactive art and lively conversation to raise awareness about affordable housing solutions in San Francisco. On the evening of December 7, 2012, the text messages of more than 100 citizens expressing wishes for better urban living were projected onto the wall of the Renoir Hotel at 7th and Market Streets as another 40 locals gathered for panel discussions on urban sustainability, mixed-income housing and collective entrepreneurship. (Click here.)
The event was a flash-mob benefit for the San Francisco Council of Community Housing Organizations, and featured text message artist Paul Notzold, singer Ash Reiter and food by Bicycle Banh Mi.
(flyer by Dan Bouthot, gallery photos by Jessica Watson)
BLOOD IS MERE DECORATION:
The Iruke Project's first production was "Blood Is Mere Decoration: A Ritual For Liberation," a multimedia solo performance that integrated interactive ritual, butoh dance, electronic music and video projections to spark conversations about the reincarnation of slavery in the form of mass incarceration. Directed by Rebecca Schultz, music by Winston Berger and lights by Juan Gudino. The production was presented on October 13, 14 & 15, 2011, at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. (Click here, and click here.)
(postcard photo by Philip Ringler, postcard design by Querido Galdo, gallery production stills from video by Mark McBeth)
#5 ANGRY RED DRUM:
As an independent actor, Anthony created the lead role of Goram for the Asian-American Theater Company's world premiere production of Philip Kan Gotanda's "#5 Angry Red Drum," directed by Matthew Graham Smith. The production ran from September 28 to October 17, 2009, in San Francisco.
Reminiscent of an early David Lynch film, the tragi-comic parable of two world-refugees trying to survive with style amid a post-apocalyptic universe gone mad featured a live original score, misremembered Bob Dylan lyrics and post-post-post-modern dance. (Click here, and click here.)
(poster by Sean Eckols, gallery production stills by B. Kuo)
THE MODEL APARTMENT:
As an independent actor, Anthony played the role of Neil, a mentally challenged street person, in the Traveling Jewish Theater's production of "The Model Apartment," directed by Amy Glazer. The production starred Amy Resnick, Naomi Newman and Jarion Monroe, and ran from February 26 to April 5, 2009.
The dark comedy by Donald Margulies is about a husband and wife in flight from much more than their memories of surviving the Holocaust. Their promised-land in the New World, a Florida condo, is anything but the refuge this aging couple so desperately seeks.