With TASHA, Cat Brooks knocks this one out of the park. This searing, heartbreaking narrative about one of society’s true victims is played in its full embodiment by one woman – as Tasha, her mother, the sheriff, a nurse, and more. The transformations are clear and startling. The sorrow of having a child who struggles with mental illness is clearly delineated as is the experience of schizophrenia itself, all contained in a jailhouse where such a person should never be in the first place. It’s all there – what’s wrong with society colliding with what’s wrong with Tasha, resulting in tragedy. This production will go far, due to a tightly written script, excellent direction and bold, relentless artistry by the stunning Cat Brooks. A+++.
We have seen 5 plays this week, and this was by far the best: very powerful performance
Cat’s embodiment of these characters is phenomenal and you should see this performance for that reason on its own. This story is urgent and we cannot ignore Tasha’s experience and the experiences of so many other of our black and brown brothers/sisters/siblings right now. If you don’t know much about Tasha McKenna, go see this. Now. We must know these stories and these truths in order to find the strength to fight.
Cat Brooks artfully presents the true tragedy of a woman with schizophrenia who was killed in police custody. Representing her mother, one of the officers, the sheriff in charge, and most notably, Tasha McKenna herself, Brooks takes the audience on the journey that led up to and includes Tasha’s death. Actual footage from the events plays intermittently on screens between Brooks’s portrayals of different characters. I gave this performance a standing ovation and was disappointed that the house wasn’t full. If you see only one SF Fringe performance, let it be this one.
An amazing story told only the way an activist artist possibly could. Difficult but require watching. Thank you Cat for all that you do, on stage and off.
So painful. So well-done. Thanks for the very useful talk-back afterwards.
OMG .. you gotta go see this!!
Strongest piece I’ve seen at a Fringe Fest in a decade. So relevant to the little video clips we see on Facebook these days. But Cat throws it in your face and makes you sit up and pay attention. You FEEL Tasha’s mother’s pain. You FEEL Tasha’s pain. You are repulsed by the officials around her who aren’t prepared on so many levels to deal with her.
I WANT THIS TO BE A BEST OF FRINGE!!
I can not recommend that you experience this show strongly enough. Both the material and the performer are electrifying. In these times when the ugliness of racism has never been more visible, this play illustrates the urgent need for activism such as that of Black Lives Matter. At the end of the performance, the audience sat in silence, perhaps stunned by the power of this piece. See it – tell your friends to see it.
Tasha = Brutal Truth! Cat Brooks had me spellbound as she moved from character to character. Her characters are complicated and complex just like life is.
I’ve hear about people being tasered yet I never understood what it felt like until Cat Brooks as Tasha showed us.
There is no uplifting “feel good” conclusion which only made me love Cat and her show even more. I applaud her for not only confronting brutal truths and not letting us look away and doing it wholeheartedly.
Cat Brooks is a must see in this powerful insightful and vulnerable examination of the intersections of Black women, mental illness, and racism. Tasha explores six characters experiences of the life of and then the murder of Natasha McKenna’s by the police. Cat brings you right to the heart of Tasha and pushes the audience to reflect of why societies response to metal illness is police violence. Please see this show, one because we must witness truth so whe can change, two, support Black artist.
You must see this powerful, mesmerizing show. Cat Brooks has imbued her performance with experience she’s had as an activist confronting police violence. In this one woman show, she embodies the people in Natasha McKenna’s life, from the mother who dearly loved her charming schizophrenic daughter to the police who took her life. A student of mine said the point of theater is to cultivate empathy. You can’t watch Cat’s performance without being deeply moved and at the same time deeply dismayed that such things are still happening.
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