ACIRFA by Aja Houston (1 of 2)

Today’s episode features part 1 of ACIRFA by Aja Houston, an epic and lyrical play set in a mythic Afro-fantasy world examining ideas of Blackness, colonialism, slavery, and legacy. Aja wrestles with the ramifications  of the American slave trade and the stripping of culture, dignity, and history experienced by enslaved African people. But what excited me more than anything else was the fact that Aja chose to situate this theatrical question in a fantasy setting. The exclusion and marginalization of people of color from speculative fiction had been long documented. Genre fiction writers often employ aliens or fantasy races like elves and goblins to address issues of race through allegory, but it’s rare that people of color get to imagine ourselves in these fantastical settings, much less as subjects of those imaginings. So with great excitement, I am proud to present to you, ACIRFA:

Aaliyah was played by Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy
Osi was played by Robert Lee Taylor
Amani was played by Lori Parquet
Sarai was played by Yeauxlanda Kaye
Jamal and the Judge were played by Anthony Wills Jr.
Lesedi was played by Geri-Nikole Love
and stage directions were read by Adriana Jones
This episode was directed by Heather Cohn

A reminder: Play x Play is a completely listener supported podcast, so if you'd like to support the artists that you heard, please become a backer of our Patreon campaign by going to