Fabric of Community: Virginia, Amanda, Hakim Workshop


Here’s more word for Virginia Hampton on the forthcoming workshop July 21. Later, I think she’ll be offering the blog more thoughts and perspectives on choreopoetry, hopefully Belize, and radical subjectivity, but for now you’re gonna get a clarification of the basics. But before I post that, let me say, I snagged the above image off Virginia’s Facebook Page… it’s a purse she made. As she said in a note there, she got into making bags for shopping to avoid use of plastic and it took off into a full fledged purse/bag/wares making thing… Much of her fabric is found, recycled too, with some great scores from a variety of sources. I love them. My purse has a zipper that used to go somewhere pocketable… What I also love is just the theme of being here, present, community and environmentally thinking, and conscious. There are many ways to live this: Performance also is part of that.

HERE’s FINAL FLUSHED OUT AND UPDATED DETAILS… and please note, class is ALMOST full, so do register ASAP if you want to join in.

Theatre Performance for Poets on the Edge of the Word

Led by Virginia Hampton, Amanda Rich, and Hakim Bellamy

21 July 2013

Workshop 1pm til 4pm

(Bonus Pre/Post hello-goodbye-n-bag sales 12-1 and 4-5)

The Filling Station

1014 Fourth Street SW

In the Heart of Barelas, Albuquerque

12 participants maximum

$25-50 sliding scale

No one turned away for lack of funds!


Virginia Hampton and Amanda Rich of OmniRootZ Productions and Hakim Bellamy of  Beyond Poetry LLC invite poets to a workshop to enhance performance!  Whether you are a seasoned poet looking to take your performance to the next level or a novice looking to enhance your skills, this workshop will give your poetics a workout!  Using traditional, experimental, and radical theatre techniques, we will expand your vocal and physical repertoire and transform the way you think about spoken word performance.  Poets should bring one short [16 lines max] memorized poem to work with and an optional song or tune, some rhythm, and wear comfortable clothing.  We will do our best to leave our egos at the door, come correct, etc.  This dynamic and reflexive workshop will consist of simple readings of each poet’s work for natural style assessment purposes, critical and exploratory theatre games and techniques, and a short performance to which friends and family can be invited.  Each poet will explore as solo and ensemble the versatility of her or his instrument through:  articulation, gesture, improve, inflection, pantomime, projection, resonance, rhythm, music, and phrasing.  Poets will then explore the pieces they have brought and develop a solo or ensemble performance for a supportive audience of fellow poets, family and friends.

Space is extremely limited [12 people maximum].  Contact:  Virginia Hampton, Hampton.virginia19 [at] gmail [dot] com, 835-4604.

Sponsored by Virginia and Amanda and OmniRootZ Productions, as well as by Hakim’s Beyond Poetry LLC, with a bit of support also from Local Poets Guild.


Amanda Rich’s energy is contagious, and her commitment to the environment, the garden, and life entangles this phenomenal energy that actually can rip rip though some intense mind funks and cut to the core of a listener’s being. I know this personally from experience. I’ve been lucky to listen to her at OutCh’Yonda years ago, Outspoken recently, and also importantly (to me) I was able to her her pre-post-production interviews during the making of a video on resilience by Katie Schneier and Beth Lou Hansen. The final video, where Amanda’s voice and stories are just part of one larger mosaic of voices and poetry and imagery, nonetheless really captures a true health and example of how to love being here alive and on planet. Working with her voice, listening to those stories, helped me do my part for the project and remains significant in memory. I call up her vision of seasons and brocolli trees when I’m down now… See the final film with layerings of her voice  Silence Ire Video embedded here. And you can also catch Amanda’s snapshot poet page in Guild archives…

About Hakim Bellamy, I swear I can’t keep up. Did I swear? No, I don’t SWEAR:  his beautiful new stunning book with West End Press does… SWEAR. imgres The first collection of the ABQ’s First Poet Laureate is making beautiful hard earned waves… Hakim’s commitment to poetry and spoken word, to performance to peace to social justice, to youth to transformation–all are unrivaled. His impact changes our landscape yearround and comes through work and commitment and ear and vision and talent and push. We are all lucky and changed by his presence and I think of him as an author and human being asking all of us to step up to the plate of beong human… Even if we were muster 1/15th of the seeming unstoppable energy he can personally enrich our community with, the differences in our city would keep shining clear off the map… And sometimes, while out there, when we get into the world, we also get to say “Thanks Hakim”, and when lucky, and we’ver received chances like this upcoming workshop (or catching him perform solo or with Carlos Contreras and DJ Diles of Urban Verbs to learn, and we also may be able to say, from our marrow, YOU HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE. Aside from catching early renditions of Urban Verbs which blew my mind, and having his good presence on the LPG Board of Directors, I also feel blessed to have had been able to see Hakim perform way back in STIR, and long before that, even in line-ups for 516 ARTS with LA writer Michael Datcher and MY MOST MOST MOST beloved teacher and former Out Ch’Yonda partaker Maisha Baton, now passed, whose plays (worked on years ago with Virginia),  are heading still and now and ever on and up in the world. (An article came out not long back in the New Yorker on Movies stating that Barbara Montgomery has an upcoming film based on Dr. Baton’s play, “Mitote” will star Ruby Dee and S. Epatha Mekerson and will be coming out shortly.) Beautiful news. Beautiful community. All paths enter-twined and growing…

And some more about Virginia, who I have heart debt for, nothing else I have to say  personally matters now. For more perormance theory details, you check in on her post on performance advice for newcomers at an LPGpost earlier in the week, and now a bit of the real behind the mind scoop:

Virginia Lovliere Hampton has been committed to theatre and performance since she was young, writing, directing and producing her first play at 13.  A native of Portsmouth, VA, she went to the same high school as Missy Elliot, thought not at the same time.  After working retail, earning a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising, and a brief stint in the army, Virginia’s theatre career got a jump start when she became an ensemble member in the Virginia Tech Theatre Department’s 1987 revival of the rock musical, “Hair”.  During the last weekend of the sold out performance, the army formally sent her separation papers.  Between “Hair” and two MA’s in English [Virginia Tech and Hollins University], Virginia learned as much as she could about theatre and drama through costuming and acting classes, stage management, writing, reading and dramaturgy, and a short stint with the Asheville, NC-based performance company, Poetry Alive!

The year she was fired from all three of her jobs [acting, baking bread, and working in a bookstore]  Virginia discovered she was with child.  During her pregnancy, Virginia returned to directing with an emphasis on poetry collage and choreopoems in an evolving acoustic poetry ensemble called Empty Pockets Productions.  She relocated to New Mexico to begin her Ph.D. in English in 1993 and immersed herself in the burgeoning theatre and poetry scene with the co-formation of OmniRootZ Productions.  The company has evolved into mostly experimental theatre performance of plays by people of color, including, Maisha Baton, Owen Vincent Dodson, August Wilson, Anna Deveare Smith, and Aishah Rahman.  In 2002, with Stephanie Willis, her partner and soulmate, and their two daughters, Ife and Mamie, OmniRootZ founded Out ch’YondA which provided a space for experimental performance, visual art, music, poetry, workshops, and a myriad of community events.  The collaborative, intergenerational, polycultural, and politically activistic space closed its doors in 2008.

Virginia now resides much of the year in Belize, teaching at the University of Belize, but will forever return to Burque where art goes to live.

Join the workshop/revolution… and catch the hour before and after to say “hello goodbye thank you welcome back come again and can I buy a bag?”

Thank you Virginia, Amanda, and Hakim. All best to everyone. THRIVE.