Winner of the 2014 Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers
Non-Sequitur presents a chorus of figures and objects carrying on apparently unrelated conversations in a shifting landscape of interiors. Of the play, Joyelle McSweeney says, “Khadijah Queen’s Non-Sequitur is the heir apparent to an avant-garde tradition running from the Futurist Sintesi through Lorca’s Impossible Theater, through Black Arts to Suzan-Lori Parks. Smart, jagged, and irrepressible, it splits apart the compulsory coherencies of contemporary life to reveal the barbs and aggressions, fantasies and projections that keep society rolling on its dismal, oppressive track. Against such prerogatives, Non-Sequitur is an incandescent and welcome act of sabotage.”
Praise for Non-Sequitur
In this brief (as in a legal summation) Khadijah Queen revives the political absurdist experimentalism of Adrienne Kennedy, pushing drama to the limits of genre. Objects, ideas, and human body parts are driven to the same ontological plane, precisely the post-human condition in which we find ourselves: teetering at the boundaries of epistemology. Non-Sequitur is conceptual writing with concentrated vengeance; it bristles, trembling with a rage barely contained by Queen’s laconic rhetoric and pin-point intelligence.
— Tyrone Williams
Khadijah Queen’s Non-Sequitur stages the deleted scenes and invisible screens infusing our social relations. Its evolving chorus explodes every imaginable form of address, every fraction of personal and public history until nothing of the illusion of neutrality remains. Each dissonant encounter invents a forum for another nest of questions. This nexus stings.
— Eric Baus
Prodigiously populated theater energized by a rotating cast of intense who dis, who dat and whosoevers: 40% Discount, Morning Stubble, Habitual Justifier, the Charlie Horse Optimist, among others, who if we don’t know by name we know by their catastrophes and desperate hopes. Comedy and calamity spin briskly in the mix, trading lines in duets, trios and quartets. Attention, attention. This is the back of your mind, emerging full blown from a swallowed dream. Here.
— Erica Hunt
Khadijah Queen’s ingenious Non-Sequitur crashes the contemporary moment—a glut in bloated celebrity, wild brutality, status quo identity mongering. This cutting and finely attuned play features single-line-slinging speakers, often as object, artifact, consequence (i.e. The Bent Business Card, The Hand Me Down Pinking Shears, The Blonde Institution) who/that “can sense your violent thoughts.” Queen’s complex manifestations of race, sex, and desire rearrange bodies and material lives where “beauty behave[s] as a whip,” animating perception and perspective into an ever surprising mix of the theater of the absurd and a febrile cultural unconscious, replete with deleted scenes, characters, and contradiction as illumination, like when The Happy Single reports: “I’m so ex-cited cuz I… ain’t a-bout it, hey heeeeyyyyyy!”
— Ronaldo V Wilson
Khadija’s place Non-Sequitur is a high theatrical challenge— its dozens of characters have voices on multiple registers: the voices in our heads, under our breaths, on our voicemail, hard to have to listen to, hilarious voices, blurted voices, bodily voices, but compact, searing, terse, not clamorous. They form an absurdity only too recognizable. This is our own experience and others’ in bed together, our conscious and unconscious lives. Prejudice and pain, slapstick and delicacy. Her deftness of touch is masterful. In each line the actor must live a life.
— Fiona Templeton