Shows: One Drop of Love

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-31 22:53Z by Steven

Shows: One Drop of Love

Mesa Arts Center
Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse
One East Main Street
Mesa, Arizona 85201
Box Office: (480) 644.6500

Performing Live Series
Saturday, 2014-11-01, 15:00 & 19:30 MT (Local Time)

Produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and the show’s writer/performer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, One Drop of Love is a multimedia one woman show. It incorporates film, photographs, and animation to examine how ‘race’ has been constructed in the United States and how it can influence our most intimate relationships.

For more information, click here.

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Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni on Growing Up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Race, and What It Takes to Do a One-Woman Show

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-31 01:49Z by Steven

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni on Growing Up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Race, and What It Takes to Do a One-Woman Show

Phoenix New Times
2014-10-30

Zaida Dedolph

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni stars in a one-woman show written by her and produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni wants to talk about race in America — and she’s got an idea of where she wants to start. The writer-actor-director-producer extraordinaire will bring her one-woman show, One Drop of Love, to Mesa Arts Center on Saturday, November 1.

Inspired by her own experiences with race, family, and reconciliation, One Drop of Love endeavors to explore these concepts in a funny, relatable way. In addition to giving two performances, Cox DiGiovanni will be hosting a panel discussion and community dialogue on Thursday, October 31, at the Arizona Opera Center. We spoke with the creative about her performance, her history, and her first-ever visit to Arizona.

Zaida Dedolph: Fanshen, you seem to wear a lot of hats. Where did you learn to do all of these things?

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni: I mostly see myself as an actor — that’s why I moved to Los Angeles and what I’ve been pursuing for the longest time in a creative capacity. I’ve known I wanted to be an actor since I was very young, but at the mean time I had all these other interests. So I joined the Peace Corps in West Africa and that got me into teaching, so I balanced teaching and acting.

As an actor, especially in LA, I started to notice that I wasn’t booking but I also was auditioning for things that I didn’t feel good about or proud of, so it was hard to bring my all to an audition when I felt like the roles were demeaning or just not me. As much as I think it’s good to stretch as an actor, it’s also good to know that you’ve got at least a base that you can work from. So I started to learn about writing.

It helps that I grew up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and was incredibly fortunate to watch them take a story that they believed in, then write that story, and write themselves into lead roles in that story, and then turn it into Good Will Hunting. So I had some people close to me to model the fact that I could write characters that I could feel good about and be proud of.

I started learning about writing, did some stand-up, wrote a couple feature-length screenplays, so now I had this writing and some characters I was proud of, but then I asked “what’s next, how do I get these characters out there?” and realized I needed to learn how to produce as well. I joined a program in Los Angeles called Project Involve [a faction of Film Independent that works to support filmmakers from backgrounds that are not frequently represented in the film industry] and learned a little more about producing.

My husband was researching MFA schools and found the most affordable one in the country was at California State University [at] Los Angeles, so I followed him into the program. That’s where I really learned hands on producing. One Drop of Love was my thesis for the MFA program, so I got to put all the things that I learned together. That’s how I ended up producing and performing and writing…

..ZD: When it comes to the American discussion of race, what issues do you think we are focusing too much attention on? Which ones do you think we should be paying more mind to?

FCD: I hope people walk away from the show [understanding] that we tend to focus too much on our differences when it comes to race. In the show I try to make it clear that race doesn’t exist genetically, and yes, we’ve all kind of come to a place where we believe in it culturally and politically, but genetically there is zero difference, as was proven by Human Genome Project.

In the show, I take the racial categories from the first U.S. Census in the 1790s. It had three racial categories and has been changed 24 times since then, now there are so many racial categories on the census. Anything that can change that easily can’t have any real, strong bearing on anything! Unfortunately, we’ve let it become so important.

I hope people will focus less on what our differences in race are and focus on what we all have in common, which is that none of us want racism. We created race to oppress people, so let’s not focus on these differences and instead focus on where we can unify…

Read the entire interview here.

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ArtsBlast: One resonating drop of Fanshen

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-31 00:48Z by Steven

ArtsBlast: One resonating drop of Fanshen

Examiner.com
2014-10-29

Jennifer Haaland

One conversation with Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni was all it took. After her Examiner interview yesterday, filled with embracing words and vibrant kindness, it was clear that a whole lot more than One Drop of Love is coming to the Phoenix Valley and gracing the Mesa Arts Center stage this weekend.

“The crowd can’t just sit back and watch. Everyone is involved in this story,” said Cox DiGiovanni of the inclusive environment the show exudes. “I’ll be playing lots of characters, sometimes coming out into the house, talking to and asking questions of the audience.”

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are notable among the show’s past participants. As producers of Cox DiGiovanni’s One Drop of Love, a dynamic multimedia live, solo performance that explores how race has been constructed in the United States, they too were deeply affected by the message conveyed…

Read the entire article here.

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I am a culturally mixed woman searching for racial answers.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2014-10-10 22:26Z by Steven

“I am a culturally mixed woman searching for racial answers.”

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

Kelundra Smith, “Preview: Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni questions race and identity in “One Drop of Love”,” ArtsATL: Atlanta’s source for arts news and reviews, September 21, 2014. http://www.artsatl.com/2014/09/preview-fanshen-cox-digiovanni-questions-race-identity-one-drop-love/.

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Preview: Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni questions race and identity in “One Drop of Love”

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-29 19:35Z by Steven

Preview: Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni questions race and identity in “One Drop of Love”

ArtsATL: Atlanta’s source for arts news and reviews
2014-09-21

Kelundra Smith


Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

As an MFA candidate in the Television, Film and Theatre program at California State University, Los Angeles, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni originally set out to make a documentary about identity and race, using her Jamaican and white ancestry as the core of the story, as her thesis project. But since her concentration was on performance, a professor advised her to do a theater piece to showcase her acting chops. So she took her footage and research and transformed the documentary into a multimedia one-woman show called One Drop of Love. She is performing that show in the Fox Theatre’s Egyptian Ballroom tonight at 7 p.m.

The title derives from the U.S. Census “one drop rule,” which states that a person who has at least one parent of African descent is automatically considered black. The daughter of a Jamaican father (Winston Barrington Cox) and white mother (Trudy Cox), DiGiovanni spent her early years in Washington, D.C., until her parents divorced and she moved to Cambridge with her mom and brother Winston. She spent much of her life questioning and aligning herself with a strong black identity, but falling in love with a European man caused her to ponder that choice more intensely.

The blue-eyed, blonde-haired actor, writer and producer married her husband, Diego, in July 2006, and her father did not attend the wedding. His absence from her nuptials caused them not to speak for seven years. But One Drop of Love needed an ending, just as her relationship with her father needed reconciliation. Here DiGiovanni talks about her ethnic identity, the role race has played in her family and a chance encounter with one of the show’s producers, actor Ben Affleck.

ArtsATL: How do you ethnically identify?

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni: I am a culturally mixed woman searching for racial answers. That’s the best I can say, and I explore this in the show. I talk about how my ethnic identity has changed over the years, based on geography and relationships with my family. It is constantly changing. However, I got to the point politically where I had to educate myself about the way black people are treated in this country. As someone who may not look black or identify as black, I have a lot of privileges that people who don’t look like me — who aren’t light-skinned or have blue eyes — can’t take advantage of. Sometimes I think that calling myself black and aligning myself with that struggle does a disservice to people who are actively living that struggle, because they don’t have the same privileges…

…ArtsATL: In identifying as black, did that affect your relationship with your white mother?

DiGiovanni: Momma Trudy is a free spirit who loves everybody and cares deeply about justice and equality, and she was all for it. She encouraged my brother and me to attend historically black colleges. She encouraged us to identify as black. She was never hurt by my identity choices. She encouraged us to know her family, but she also shared stories about how her mother disinherited her after she married my father. She did us a great service, because she shared it all with us, including her understanding of justice and equality, especially knowing that my brother was going to move through life as an identifiable black man…

Read the entire interview here.

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One Drop of Love: A Must See Show

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-22 21:34Z by Steven

One Drop of Love: A Must See Show

A Life with Subtitles
2014-09-22

Sarah Quezada

Last week I was out of town bowling and doing improv with my co-workers. It was super fun, but my time away from Atlanta meant I was gone on the birthday of my dear friend, Katie. (You may remember her as my co-conspirator during the World Cup.)

After returning, we celebrated by going to the Fox Theater to see One Drop of Love. It’s a multimedia solo performance produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and the show’s writer/performer Fanshen Cox DiGivanni. It. Was. Phenomenal.

Fanshen tells her family’s story as an exploration into her own racial identity. She reenacts experiences from conversations with her Jamaican grandmother to her travels in Africa to childhood memories with her white mother to her marriage to her Italian husband…

Read the entire review here.

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Monica Pearson Show with Fanshen Cox

Posted in Arts, Audio, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-19 15:31Z by Steven

Monica Pearson Show with Fanshen Cox

Monica Pearson Show
KISS 104FM, Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
2014-09-14

Monica Pearson, Host

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Award-Winning Actress, Producer and Educator
One Drop of Love

Listen Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni’s radio interview with Emmy Winner Monica Pearson on KISS 104 FM in Atlanta here (00:34:47). Download the interview here.

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One-Woman Multimedia Show ONE DROP OF LOVE Comes to The Fox Theatre, 9/21

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-19 14:19Z by Steven

One-Woman Multimedia Show ONE DROP OF LOVE Comes to The Fox Theatre, 9/21

BroadwayWorld.com Atlanta
2014-07-10

The Fox Theatre is presenting One Drop of Love on Sunday, September 21 at 3 PM and 7 PM in the Fox Theatre’s Egyptian Ballroom. The show is a multimedia solo performance exploring family, race, love, pain and a path towards reconciliation. Monica Pearson, an active community leader and influencer, will moderate the discussion following both shows. Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase now at www.FoxTheatre.org, by calling 855-285-8499 or at The Fox Theatre Ticket Office.

LIMITED OFFER: ½ price tickets available on Goldstar!

One Drop of Love is a multimedia one woman show written and performed by the show’s writer/performer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni and is produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. It incorporates film, photographs and animation to examine how “race” has been constructed in the United States and how it can influence our most intimate relationships. The show will take you on a journey from the 1700s to the present spanning locations through the world as 16 characters facilitate reconciliation between a daughter and her father. Immediately following each performance, Fanshen facilitates a Q&A segment.

“Amazing performance, staging, autobiography, artistry and an amazing meditation on race and examination of America,” stated Ben Affleck, show producer and 2013 Academy Award winning actor. “I am in awe.” For more information on One Drop of Love, visit www.onedropoflove.org.

About Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni: Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni has been featured in the New York Times and on NPR as a spokesperson on using the arts to explore racial identity. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, West Africa, and has designed curricula for and taught English as a Second Language to students from all over the world. She has been honored with the Peace Corps’ Franklin H. Williams Award, and with Peace Corps Fellows and Hollywood Foreign Press Association scholarships. She holds a BA in Spanish and Education, an MA in TESOL, and an MFA in Acting and Performance in Film, TV and Theater. Fanshen is also a proud member of Ensemble Studio Theater/LA Playwrights Unit, and a co-curator of www.MixedRootsStories.org

For more information, click here. Purchase tickets here ($5.00 discount with promotional access code “LOVE”).

What Audiences Are Saying:

Fanshen Cox’s “One Drop of Love” interweaves the intimacy of personal experience with the larger social and political changes redefining race, gender and the kinship in America. As  important as the performance itself is Fanshen’s sincere interest in, and ability to, connect with her audiences, to link her extremely personal story to other people’s experiences, to be open to their voices even as she is telling her own story. Fanshen offers an insightful, smart, informed, clear-eyed investigation into the complexity of being “mixed” that makes her private journey of keen interest to anyone who crosses cultural or racial boundaries.

- Michele Elam, professor of English, Stanford University

Fanshen’s story is quite incredible, but it is her retelling of it that captures an audience.  I have rarely seen a group of teenagers so rapt with attention to hear the next word.  Her ability to use the personal to build a story about race, family and bridging painful rifts among loved ones and strangers was so potent for these young men and women who grapple with these issues daily.  She is the kind of performer who will inspire people to embrace what makes them different and see it as a strength.

- Randall Arney, Artistic Director, Geffen Playhouse

Wow. “One Drop of Love” is fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing your story and opening up so much thoughtful reflection and discussion about mixed heritage and race — my mind is still buzzing and the audience was so energized.

- Sady Sullivan, Director of Oral History, Brooklyn Historical Society

“One Drop of Love” is beautiful and brave. Cox DiGiovanni’s honesty, insight, dedication, and love are an inspiration. She takes us into the intimate places where family, race, love, and pain intertwine. In this sometimes searing, sometimes funny, and always smart play she shows us both the terrible things we do to those we love and a way forward to a better future.

- Paul Spickard, professor of history at University of California, Santa Barbara

The performance was hands-down the best Choate performance I have ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of white struggle stories, and a lot of black struggle stories, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mixed struggle story.

- Zemia Edmondson, student at Choate Rosemary Hall

“One Drop of Love” is an hour of pure magic. Cox DiGiovanni is able to shift through time and space and different characters to explain the racial paradigm in America, and the relationship between her and her father in ways that anyone can understand. I highly recommend this show.

- Steven F. Riley, Owner/Curator www.MixedRaceStudies.org

Wow. Hollywood spends millions on movies and they couldn’t bring me from folded over laughter to tears as easily as Fanshen did. She’s engaging with the audience and honest. One Drop conquers racial issues with honesty and an open heart. Anyone who has ever felt out of place…or had a really crazy (but loving) family will really enjoy this.

- Angela Nissel, co-producer Scrubs; author: Broke DiariesMixed; writer on The Boondocks

In “One Drop of Love,” Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni offers a thought-provoking, informative, and moving exploration of race, racism, and what it means to identify as “culturally mixed.”  Her authenticity and humor, as she recounts her complex relationships with her parents and the evolution of her thinking, are deeply engaging. This piece not only educates and prompts discussion about important issues, but also inspires audience members to examine and honor their own struggles with identity.

- Jennifer Zakkai, Education Projects Leader, Geffen Playhouse

One Drop of Love is funny, entertaining and moving.

- Kim Wayans, Actress: PariahIn Living Color; Writer/Performer: A Handsome Woman Retreats

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One Drop of a Father’s Love

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-02 16:51Z by Steven

One Drop of a Father’s Love

Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (B.L.A.A.C)
Sunday, 2014-06-15

Zebulon Miletsky, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

This week I had the pleasure of attending a one-woman show by Television and Film actress, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, called “One Drop of Love” a multimedia solo performance put on at the Brooklyn Historical Society. It was phenomenal. Not only was it brilliant in its exposition of the social and historical dimensions of race, but it alsobrought a human dimension to the oft-complicated question of mixed race in America.  The context alone was compelling.  In the next room, the critically praised exhibit on Brooklyn Abolitionists entitled “In Pursuit of Freedom”, rich with the documentation and exhibits about slavery and its abolition, much of it the raw material and subtext of the play we were about to witness. The day of the performancealso happened to be “Loving Day”, an annual celebration ofthe anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision “Loving v. Virginia” which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws in the U.S. The decision was followed by an increase in interracial marriages, although not necessarily all “black/white” ones, and it is commemorated annually on what is now Loving Day, June the 12th…

Read the entire review here.

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One Drop of Love – a performance by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at the Brooklyn Historical Society

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-06-10 20:59Z by Steven

One Drop of Love – a performance by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at the Brooklyn Historical Society

Brooklyn Historical Society
Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations
2014-06-12, 19:00 EDT (Local Time)

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations and the Brooklyn Historical Society is delighted to host One Drop of Love, a multimedia solo performance by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni that incorporates performance, film, photographs, and animation to tell the story of how the notion of ‘race’ came to be in the U.S.

One Drop of Love asks audiences to consider: how does our belief in ‘race’ affect our most intimate relationships? The show travels near and far, in the past and present to explore family, race, love and pain – and a path towards reconciliation. Audiences go on a journey from the 1700s to the present, to cities all over the U.S and to West and East Africa, where both the narrator and her father spent time in search of their racial roots.

One Drop of Love is produced by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Ben Affleck, Chay Carter and Matt Damon. For more information, visit: www.onedropoflove.org.

This event is co-sponsored by LovingDay.org, MixedRootStories.org and MixedRaceStudies.org.

For more information, click here.

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