Community Events

10/06-10/08/2011: Ungrateful Daughter by Lisa Marie Rollins at La Peña (Berkeley)

10/06 – 10/08/2011

La Peña Cultural Center
Berkeley, CA

$12 adv. $15 dr. ($8 seniors & students w/ID) – 8pm 3-DAY RUN !!

For advance tickets click here. (3-Day Run!)

Ungrateful Daughter: One Black Girl’s Story of Being Adopted into a White Family… that aren’t Celebrities.

Written and performed by Lisa Marie Rollins.

Directed by W. Kamau Bell.

Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Madonna have adopted black children. How could it not be good? Should you go pick one up? Especially after you see their faces on TV looking so sad? “Ungrateful Daughter”, Lisa Marie’s riveting solo show, examines being a black girl adopted into a white family and how all that relates to these celebrity crazes, the Haitian and Ethiopian ‘orphans’ and the myth of colorblind love.

In the early 1970’s Lisa Marie is adopted by a couple seeking an “Asian-mix” baby and end up with a little black girl whose racial identity is hidden by the adoption agency. Funny and sharp, it is a story that thrusts us into the complicated racial knots of being a trans-racial adoptee that are so hard to untangle.

In a rush of electrifying story-telling, spoken word poetry and hilarious, unexpected characterizations, Lisa Marie reveals a sometimes disturbing picture of what it’s like to attend an almost exclusively white, private school; expresses her fierce love for her conservative, Republican, Christian, organic farmer parents and addresses the well-meaning, white, liberal adoptive parents that strain her patience… repeatedly. Lisa Marie explores being Black and Filipina in a community that has no framework for either identities to live. Two families, three identities, that… is a lot. Infused with a gentle sense of humor and a seething rage, Lisa Marie wonders if she will ever heal from the secrets, stolen histories and unknowns she and other adopted people share.

Lisa Marie Rollins (Writer/ Performer) is an AfroPina (Black and Filipina), Oakland based, writer, playwright and multidisciplinary performance artist. She has performed excerpts of her solo performance “Ungrateful Daughter: One Black Girls Story of being Adopted into a White Family… that aren’t Celebrities” at CounterPulse, StageWerx Theater, Off-Market Theatre, in the Francisco Solo Festival, San Francisco Theater Festival, The Marsh Theater at Berkeley, The Marsh Theater in SF, The Shelton Theatre, and at universities and academic conferences across the United States. “Ungrateful Daughter” has been awarded a 2010-2011 James Irvine New Works development grant, commissioned through La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley. She is one of the original producers of “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour” and has worked as a dramaturg for Chicana women’s theater and poetry troupe, Las Manas Tres. She presented a solo performance showcase “For Colored Girls Only” in collaboration with Oakland’s Joyce Gordon Gallery for a Women’s History month art installation. Lisa Marie served as the 2010-2011 Poet in Residence at June Jordan’s Poetry for the People at U.C. Berkeley. She is an alumna in Poetry of the nationally known VONA Writing Workshop in Poetry and has recently written two new 10-minute plays in workshops at the Playwrights Foundation in SF.

Lisa Marie is the Founder and Director of AFAAD, Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora. AFAAD is an organization that focuses on the needs of adoptee and foster care alumni of African descent and provides space for adoptee and foster care alumni to connect, heal from loss, create support networks and advocate around domestic and international adoption issues. Lisa Marie has been featured on CNN, NPR, KPFA, KPFK Los Angeles, and has been featured in many articles on race and adoption. She was selected as one of Colorlines Magazine’s “Innovators to Watch in 2009” for her critical social justice work around black adoptee and collaborations with multiple adult adoptee of color organizations across the globe.

You can find out more about Lisa Marie and make a donation to her important creative or advocate work at:

W. KAMAU BELL (Director) Is a solo performer, director and stand up comedian. He performed his solo show “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour” to sold-out houses in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, as well as the New York International Fringe Festival and the Comedy Central stage in LA. He is co-founder and director of the Solo Performance Workshop in SF. Kamau’s other directing credits include “don’t make me look too psychotic,” “F**king Handicapped Guy,” “,” “I Heart Hamas,” and “Love, Humiliation, & Karaoke” all of which have enjoyed extended runs.


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