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ADRIENNE KENNEDY'S SILENT THEATRICAL REVOLUTION CHRISTOPHER NIQUET Dizzy, Billie, Duke. Negro, yes, but no further breakdown: like Chopin, they were described just by their names. It wasn't until the 1970s that I heard all these definitions, and I recoil from them. I come from a political family. DuBois, Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey, were frequently discussed. We read Crisis and the Pittsburgh Courier. The condition of American blacks was always being analyzed. But as a young person with a pen, or a Remington typewriter, I needed to cast aside imprisoning definitions. I needed to enter all stories. Richard Wright and Fitzgerald and Camus and Fanon. Duke Ellington and Judy Garland. It was my natural instinct. In my twenties, if I had kept repeating over and over, “I am a black female writer,” I would have been frightened. What did that mean? I knew Gwendolyn Brooks was Negro, but I called

her a Pulitzer Prize writer. I knew James Baldwin was Negro, but my New York friends called him a great essayist. If I had broken down all these people’s identities in the fashion of the last twenty years, I would not have been able to forge imaginary bonds and friendships with them. And forging imaginary bonds with everyone from Picasso to Joe Williams and Frank Sinatra is what gave me energy to see myself as a writer. And freed my mind. • This interview has been edited and condensed. CHRISTOPHER NIQUET is a Paris-born and Sorbonne-educated writer. Niquet relocated to New York city in 2006 after years working behind the scenes with designers in Paris (A.P.C., Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix) and Milan (D&G, Alessandro dell acqua, Anna Molinari). He is now a contributing writer to French Vanity Fair with a monthly column about culture and style and recently released his first book, Models Matter, a combination of his passions for fashion history, beauty and words.

Juliana Canfield and Tom Pecinka in Theatre for a New Audience's production of He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box by Adrienne Kennedy, directed by Evan Yionoulis. Photo by Gerry Goodstein.

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T H E AT R E F O R A N E W AU D I E N C E 36 0 ° S E R I E S

360° Viewfinder: HE BROUGHT HER HEART BACK IN A BOX  

360° Viewfinder Series are web-based resources accompanying each production that explore facts and perspectives on each play, playwright, an...

360° Viewfinder: HE BROUGHT HER HEART BACK IN A BOX  

360° Viewfinder Series are web-based resources accompanying each production that explore facts and perspectives on each play, playwright, an...

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