1st Sin, 2nd Class, 3rd World: A Choreopoem

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1st Sin

2nd Class

2nd Class

The first act of disobedience against 'God' was said to be by the hands of Eve. 

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2nd Class

2nd Class

2nd Class

Historically women have not had economic leverage to sit on the same tier of society as men. 

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3rd World

2nd Class

3rd World

Furthering the division and discrimination of women of color with added intersectionality.  

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The History

While a student at CUNY Hunter College, Wendy Arimah submitted a poem as a final project for the course, Women and Gender in Western Politics.  


According to her professor, John McMahon, PhD,  her piece, 1st Sin, 2nd Class, 3rd World, was the most 'powerful, affecting, insightful' final projects he'd ever experienced. He encouraged her to go further with it.  That same year she performed it as spoken word at Tagine Lounge in NYC. In March 2019, it was selected and produced as a part of  Conch Shell Productions'  Hear Her Call Theater Festival, a platform for Caribbean-American women playwrights. Most recently, Wendy directed 1st Sin, 2nd Class, 3rd World for NY Theater Festival: Summerfest at the Hudson Guild Theater in Chelsea.

 

Inspired by the style of Ntozake Shange of For Colored Girls...fame, and the words of Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Angela Davis and a song by Erykah Badu, 1st Sin, 2nd Class, 3rd World is a semi-autobiographical choreopoem (a form of dramatic expression combining poetry, dance, music and song. Coined in 1975 by Shange.) that responds to the antiquated and banal philosophies of renowned philosophers, Aristotle, Machiavelli and Rosseau that are unfortunately still part of today's sometimes obtuse society. 


The title was developed from ideas of how women are viewed religiously, by sexuality and gender, and globally with regard to traditions and customs. 

The Proposal

Wendy Arimah's hope is that her voice will empower all who identify as women to speak louder than the world's insignificant chatter. That 1st Sin, 2nd Class, 3rd World will help them uncover the beauty that we all possess beyond the thin veil of societal standards and what has been deeply oppressed within our psyche.  


1st Sin, 2nd Class, 3rd World is neither anti-man or male-bashing.  It runs approximately 30 minutes and has thought provoking poetic presentations.  It is for many, an awakening to strengthen self and for the woman to further define her womaness under her own terms.  It attempts to answer questions like: 


-Are women's actions and desires evil? 

-Should we not be able to express ourselves without being considered weak?

-Do we need to suppress our power in order to elevate a man?

-Why are our sisters of color objectified and treated like social experiments?  


Wendy's goal is to bring it to the masses of women who sometimes feel the pressure of simply existing as a woman. Whether it be for the sisters who have experienced personal hardships, who feel like they are all alone or for those who have lost their way and have  sacrificed a part of their soul to survive.  She wants to spread the word that although the world continues to treat her sisters unfairly,  there is always a place to find comfort, safety and freedom to be expressive and inquisitive.  

The Inspiration

Rehearsal and performance photos

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 ...there is the me that came before me that stands before you, who has protected me  

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...i am strong in my weakest moments, and submissive at my own discretion

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...i am childfree by choice, no one but I can give my uterus a voice

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..my cleavage does not determine my intelligence

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...the tears on my cheek are sisterblood stained

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         ...i breathe in red roaring courage

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