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All Girl, All World

The definition for "oratrix" in Webster's 1913 Dictionary is as follows: \Or-a-trix\, n. A woman plaintiff, or complainant, in equity pleading. The accordingly named all-women Seattle enclave of slam performers, storytelling enthusiasts, and queer poets, one-ups its unassuming connotations in more than a few ways. Taking their cue instead from the original Latin word for "she who speaks", Or-a-Trix combines political parable with wrenchingly personal narrative, fusing themes of race, class, sex, and gender in seamless and inventive ways.

Or-a-Trix will bring their acclaimed performance group - dubbed a "poetic queerchoir" - to San Francisco's Jon Sims Center for the Arts on October 23rd. The group will be performing its full-length production, "All Girl All World" as a part of its West Coast tour. The show has been described as a "fierce, furious, fast-paced freight train of punk rock poetry", a complex feminist manifesto "distilling truths down to their lowest common denominator".

The women of Or-a-Trix first met in a writing class at the Bent Writing Institute, founded by Tara Hardy, in Seattle three years ago. Initially workshopping each other's art, the women eventually began to write together, creating works from duets to six-person spoken word pieces. Or-a-Trix and its members (Kristin Aurora, Brenda Brown, Amy Mahoney, Alexandria Michele Red, Gigi Grinstad, Katinka Kraft, and Tara Hardy) have since taken their act to several venues around the Pacific Northwest—bars, coffee shops, bookstores, community centers, and college campuses.

From a panoply of different backgrounds, Or-a-Trix features both individual and group performance with influences that range from hip hop rhythm and international travel to drag and youth advocacy. The performers themselves are of myriad persuasions--science teachers, martial arts instructors, dramatists—and are a testament to the assortment of subjects and concepts covered from one performance to the next. Or-a-Trix member Katinka Kraft asserts that the group's primary goal is to get queer writers on stage: "to be a part of the revolution of spoken word artists who are demonstrating that the art of writing is not only for academics and those who are privileged and published within the mainstream."

San Francisco spoken word performers Sara Gina Jones, Robin Akimbo, and Sini Anderson will also join the show. Other additional acts will include the Chainsaw Chubbettes, a local burlesque group featuring Cookie Tuff and Roxanne Rolls. For more information, visit www.jonsimsctr.org or call (415) 554-0402.

Being performed on October 23
<a href="/business.php?blId=631">Jon Sims Center for the Arts</a>
1519 Mission Street
(Between Sth Van Ness & 11th)
San Francisco
<a href="http://www.oratrix.org/">www.oratrix.org</a>; | <a href="http://www.jonsimsctr.org/litatjsc.html">more information</a>