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OPENS NOV. 4
Gayatri Chakravarti Spivak, that (in)domitable deconstructionist, has laid out a few rules for representing poor Third World women, or “native informants.” She calls for “a persistent dredging operation” and an ironic, passionate vigilance “to acknowledge a responsibility toward the trace of the other, not to mention toward other struggles.” Closer to home, Anu Yadav (pictured), a 26-year-old (In)dian woman from Kansas, is attempting to represent a different type of “native informant.” In her one-woman show ’Capers, she channels many voices, among them a loving dad who also loves crack, the head of the D.C. Housing Authority, and a little girl who belts out the blues when her mother hits her. For the past two years, Yadav has volunteered with and interviewed residents at the Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg Dwellings in Southeast, which have been slated for demolition under the government’s HOPE VI housing-revitalization program. Yadav based her characters on both those who resisted and those who came to terms with their pending forced relocation. She read several versions of the play, which she calls “a work in progress,” to her interviewees, receiving detailed feedback about everything from how she should hold her head to how she should talk. But, unlike parenthesis-happy literary theorists, Yadav isn’t just transmitting others’ words: As different characters take possession of her body, her hair sways, her chest caves in, her elbows pump. Can the subaltern speak through Anu Yadav? Find out at 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 4, through Sat., Nov. 6, at the District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. $10. (202) 526-4417. (Bidisha Banerjee)