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When Did Your Hands Become a Weapon?

  • Brava Theater Center 2781 24th Street San Francisco, CA, 94110 United States (map)

Brava in association with Cultural Odyssey present

When Did Your Hands Become a Weapon?

A collaboration between Rhodessa Jones with Women's HIV Program UCSF & 
The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women


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When Did Your Hands Become a Weapon? heralds the beginning of Cultural Odyssey’s 40th Anniversary Season. Developed far before the #MeToo movement, When Did Your Hands Become a Weapon? is a prescient call to action in perfect alignment with the issues surrounding the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment of women. This project is a major departure from previous theatrical spectacles focusing on these issues, heralding a new model of care that allows women to heal from past abuse and prevent further trauma.

Thursday, October 25 – 8pm
Friday, October 26 – 8pm
Saturday, October 27 – 8pm (Special Gala Performance)
Sunday, October 28 – 3pm
Thursday, November 1 – 8pm
Saturday, November 3– 3pm
Saturday, November 3 – 8pm
Sunday, November 4 – 3pm

Thursdays (pay what you can): $0 - $25
Friday, Saturday, Sunday (sliding scale): $15, $20, $25
Saturday, October 27 Gala Performance: $25, $35, $50

Rhodessa Jones is ‘telling the truth and practicing revolution’ at Brava
— San Francisco Chronicle

Read the Chronicle article here.

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In 1989, while conducting exercise classes at the San Francisco County Jail, Rhodessa Jones and prison officials observed that African American and Latina women inmates were more likely to honestly confront their personal problems by telling autobiographical stories than through traditional counseling techniques. Based on this observation, Rhodessa, together with representatives of the Sheriff’s Department and the San Francisco Health Department founded The MEDEA Project in 1990 to explore whether an arts-based approach could reduce recidivism and divert women from the criminal justice system. Since that auspicious beginning THE MEDEA PROJECT has become a model for transforming and rehabilitating female inmates,and working with ex — inmates as well as HIV positive women utilizing the performing arts.

Rhodessa Jones is Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is an actress, teacher, director, and writer. Ms. Jones is also the Director of the award winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and HIV Circle, which is a performance workshop designed to achieve personal and social transformation with incarcerated women and women living with HIV. During fall 2017 and winter 2018 Rhodessa was a Frank H. T. Rhodes Visiting Professor at CORNELL UNIVERSITY and a MONTGOMERY FELLOW at DARTMOUTH COLLEGE conducting lectures and workshops at these prestigious institutions. In December 2016 Rhodessa received a THEATRE BAY AREA LEGACY AWARD presented to individuals that have made “extraordinary contributions to the Bay Area theatre community.” In 2014 she received The Sui Generis Foundation Achievement Award for “one of a kind contributions which benefit society in unique ways.”

When Did Your Hands Become a Weapon? was made possible in part by grants from The Creative Work Fund, (a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that is also supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Fleishhacker Foundation.  


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Earlier Event: October 23
Slow Burn Live in San Francisco
Later Event: November 2
2nd Annual ReclaMisión