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by Sharon Bridgforth and Daniel Alexander Jones
May 2023
72 pages
paper/perfect bound
ISBN: 978-1737025573

In June 2022, Sharon Bridgforth and Daniel Alexander Jones held an intimate and searching conversation about the pragmatics of making art and engaging the communities--living and ancestral--from which their work emerges. In this edited transcript of that conversation, the two longtime friends reflect on Bridgforth’s bull-jean & dem/dey back, a collection of two performance/novels written twenty-two years apart about the eponymous bull-jean. Bridgforth details the weave between her early work in social justice (based in Austin, TX, where she and Jones met), her artmaking, her commitment to community, and how the desire to love, heal and live in truth has compelled her writing and her life choices. For Bridgforth, writing starts in the marrow of her healing. Together, through this conversation, Jones and Bridgforth offer tested strategies for living a grounded artistic life.


Listen to Sharon Bridgforth and Daniel Alexander Jones if you want to study the art of being everything. All being. Being everyone: the ancestors, the guides, the philosophers, the craftspeople, the healers and all the holy people. But also being everything: the ocean, the sky, the breeze. The leaves in the breeze, the wide path that is also the long path leading home. And they make it seem easy. To unfold ourselves and realize all that's there is love. Eavesdropping on these two divine beings it starts to seem obvious. Yes. All that's ever been here is love.
– Alexis Pauline Gumbs

All These Things lives alongside the iconic dialogues between James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni, and bell hooks and Cornell West, by providing readers with a most needed salve for our time and beyond. Sharon and Daniel cut up here like beloved symbiotic friends do! At their jam session, everyone is invited to the party, for we all could use the medicine they offer—mandates for Ancestrally-guided art making, Spirit-filled abiding relationships and ultimately the crucible that is Love. Read this work out loud! Allow Sharon and Daniel’s prodigious wisdom and practices to vibrate through you, becoming your own playful improvisations!
– Omi Osun Joni L. Jones

Thank you to DAJ and Ms. Bridgforth for this generous, time-traveling conversation that maps us so beautifully into the life behind bull-jean. All These Things weaves, is, and provokes an archive of love.
– Jillian Walker 


Sharon Bridgforth—A 2023 United States Artists Fellow and a 2022 Winner of Yale’s Windham Campbell Prize in Drama, Sharon Bridgforth is a 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member, a 2022-2023 McKnight National Fellow and a New Dramatists alumnae. A Doris Duke Artist, Sharon has received support from Creative Capital, MAP Fund and the National Performance Network. Her work is featured in Volume 110, No. 4, Winter 2022 of The Yale Review, Teaching Black: The Craft of Teaching on Black Life and Literature, and Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought and Feminist Studies Vol 48 Number 1, honoring 40 years of This Bridge Called My Back and But Some of Us Are Brave! Sharon’s new book bull-jean & dem/dey back is published by 53rd State Press and is part of Pillsbury House + Theatre 2022-2023 main stage seasons. More at https://www.

Daniel Alexander Jones remains an unpredictable and unbound artist whose wildflower body of work is celebrated & respected by a range of communities & critics. Jones extends traditions of making rooted in Black & Queer histories of performance, music, literature, and civic practice, adding his own specific contributions of Spirit, word, and deed to the mix. 2023 marks Jones’s thirtieth year of professional practice and sees the release of his album, Aquarius; his presentation of May As Well Be a Rainbow, an offering for Toni Morrison commissioned by the McCarter Theatre; and I Choose to Remember Us Whole, an altar installation & performance at The Meany Center/Henry Gallery in Seattle. Jones’s past projects include Black Light (Public Theater); Duat (Soho Rep); and Phoenix Fabrik (Pillsbury House Theatre). As his “altar-ego” Jomama Jones—named “a true theatrical original” by Backstage Magazine—he has released six albums and toured widely. His ongoing Altaredstates project, of which Altar No. 3 is a branch, is produced by CalArts’ Center for New Performance and may be explored at Daniel Alexander Jones is a TED Fellow, a Doris Duke Artist Award recipient, a Guggenheim Fellow, a USA Artists Fellow, a two-time Art Matters Grantee, a five-time MAP Fund recipient, an inaugural Creative Capital Grantee, an Alpert Award in the Arts Awardee, and has received several awards including the PEN/America Laura Pels Award in Theatre and the IDEA Award in Theatre. California. A collection of his plays and performance texts, Love Like Light, is available from 53rd State Press along with a conversation book with Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Particle and Wave. Jones is a Producing Artist at CalArts’ Center for New Performance and lives in Los Angeles.
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