SomeBody*: Infinite Identities, Troubled Wholeness and the Search for Self
An original work by Jamie Goodwin ’22
Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
About the Work
SomeBody*: Infinite Identities, Troubled Wholeness and the Search for Self is an original devised semi-autobiographical theatrical exploration using poem, story and movement to capture the tension and reality of living in a marginalized body. We are transported back with Jamie, playwright and producer, to summer 2020. The summer of death. The summer of fire. The summer of breathlessness and bodies under attack. Summer 2020, has once again awakened BLACK BODY, who is the only one who can survive the chaos. However, this time the chaos is taking a larger toll on Black Body than expected, and it seems the longer he is awake, the more he hurts and the more he hurts, the more he threatens to consume all of Jamie’s person to withstand the pain, withstand the chaos. As a last hope, Jamie has locked all the doors, shut the windows and refuses to leave. One question remains: Can Jamie be complex in the chaos or will the survival of her Black Body cost her personhood, her humanity?
Please be advised that this production includes the following: Strobe lighting effects, theatrical haze, loud noises, scenes referencing racism, illusions of self harm and abuse, suicidal ideation, mental illness, and death.
For the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of your fellow patrons, please wear your masks at all times and please silence all electronic devices including cellular phones and watches for the duration of the performance. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the nearest exit indicated by the illuminated exit sign. In case of a building evacuation, walk, do not run, to your nearest exit. The use of flash photography, audio or video recording is prohibited. Please refrain from text messaging during the performance.
Black Artist — Jamie Goodwin ’22*
Black Christian — Saareen Junaid ’23*
Black Thinker — Nathalie Charles ’25
Black Woman — Kate Stewart ’25
Director — Claudia Humphrey ’22
Set Designer — Saareen Junaid ’23*
Costume Designer — Nathalie Charles ’25
Lighting Designer — Aimee Sampayan ’22
Dramaturg — Anecia Henry ’23
Stage Manager — Aimee Sampayan ’22
Assistant Stage Manager — Aleena Brown ’25
Run Crew — Temi Ayeni ’24
*denotes a certificate student in the Program in Theater
Nehassaiu deGannes, Project Advisor
Immediately following the Saturday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. show, there will be a talkback with multi-hyphenate actor, poet and maker Nehassaiu deGannes and the cast and creative team discussing the process and production of SomeBody.
A Note from the Thesis Proposer
Art-making is something both incredibly taxing and yet somehow also utterly magical and mysterious. I never imagined that I would call myself any kind of theater-maker, let alone a playwright and performer, but sometimes the calling to art is stronger than even our wildest dreams. I truly believe this piece has been calling for me to write it since I arrived at Princeton, and maybe even before then. I have been existing in this tension of body and mind, for as long as I can remember and yet felt completely incapable of capturing this reality in any meaningful way to myself or others. It was simply impossible to represent with kosher argumentation alone or to feel solely in my body, or to even articulate through the singularity of faith talk. But theater offered me an entirely new framework where ideas could literally become bodies. And it is only now, I understand that this tension which still exists in me can only possibly be understood through every angle at once. That to capture even a glimpse of it, I must simultaneously invoke argumentation, poetry, body and faith.
It is on account of this that I believe theater at its core is about witnessing. It invites us to be witnesses of the complexity inherent even in explanation and representation of our own lives. To not take the translation of one’s reality as either obvious or light but one that requires the labor, magic and impossibility inherent in humanity. So as you enjoy this piece, I invite you to see this performance as only one part of an incredible and necessary process of collective questioning and creating. I invite you to allow the intensely personal to create room in you to see the universal. The universal in the messiness, simplicity and complexity of humanness and theater-making.
— Jamie Goodwin
Special thanks to Nehassaiu deGannes, who kept reminding me of the magic inherent in devising and the storytelling inherent in my family history.
Special thanks to Nathan Davis, who generously offered his time and mentorship for over a year in the making, helping me nourish a vague vision that has now become a production, and who was always quick to remind me that living life is preparation for the best kind of storytelling.
Special thanks to Bob Sandberg, who encouraged me to be a maker and not just an observer of theater before I even imagined it as a possibility.
— Jamie Goodwin
An estimated 10 million Native Americans lived in North America before the arrival of European colonizers. Many thousands lived in Lenapehoking, the vast homeland of the Lenni-Lenape, who were the first inhabitants of what is now called eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.
Princeton stands on part of the ancient homeland and traditional territory of the Lenape people. In 1756, the College of New Jersey erected Nassau Hall with no recorded consultation with the Lenni-Lenape peoples.
Treaties and forced relocation dispersed Lenape-Delaware to Ohio, Kansas, and Oklahoma. We acknowledge the violence of settler colonialism and pay respect to Lenape peoples past, present, and future and their continuing presence in the homeland and throughout the Lenape diaspora.
Current Princeton student activists and alumni are advocating for Indigenous students and studies at the University. For more information, see the websites of Natives at Princeton and Princeton Indigenous Advocacy Coalition.
Lewis Center for the Arts
Interim Chair: Michael Cadden
Executive Director: Marion Friedman Young
For a look at all the people working behind the scenes to bring you this event, View a full list of LCA staff members »