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The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Presents: Cultural Odyssey's “FULLY AWAKE & FACING SEVENTY: HEAVEN BETTA BEA HONKY TONK!

  • The Beck Cultural Exchange Center 1927 Dandridge Avenue Knoxville, TN, 37915 United States (map)

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Presents: Cultural Odyssey's Fully Awake & Facing Seventy: Heaven Betta Bea Honky Tonk! May 19 and 21 7:30 PM at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by visiting

“FULLY AWAKE & FACING SEVENTY: HEAVEN BETTA BEA HONKY TONK!” is written and performed by RHODESSA JONES with musical direction and performance by IDRIS ACKAMOOR.  It is an evening of cabaret with live music celebrating Rhodessa Jones becoming an official senior citizen. FULLY AWAKE poses the question, “Can the artist look back at her life as a way of ‘seeing’ into the future?” It is also a treatise on the Baby Boom Generation confronting their last years with panache, style, humor and yoga! Rhodessa confronts the issue of aging “full on” with insight, a sense of progressive politics, banter, pathos, empathy and sharp-edged humor addressing the issue of growing old with dignity and security. FULLY AWAKE is for audiences of all ages since in one-way or another since “we are all FACING SEVENTY!”  FULLY AWAKE completes a trio of full-length solo autobiographical works of Ms. Jones’ almost half-century career as a professional artist and community activist.

Based in San Francisco, California, Cultural Odyssey's mission is to support the artistic work and vision of Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor, as well as an ancillary group of emerging and established performing artists. To implement its mission, Cultural Odyssey locally premieres the original productions of Jones & Ackamoor, presents the Cultural Odyssey Performance Series, offers free and low cost technical assistance to artists and small arts organizations, and conducts residencies and national and international tours. As well, it operates a community-based program entitled, The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women that serves female inmates, ex-inmates, HIV positive women, and female community participants. In addition, the company conducts jazz programming spearheaded by Idris Ackamoor & THE PYRAMIDS and the Music is the Healing Force of the Universe Community Orchestra.

Cultural Odyssey was founded by Idris Ackamoor, Executive/Co-Artistic Director, in 1979 and joined by Rhodessa Jones, Co-Artistic Director, in 1983. Idris founded Cultural Odyssey after traveling to Africa and observing the interdisciplinary nature of African artistic culture. Also of note was the connection African artists had with their community. His early vision was to found an organization that combined music, theater and dance into a unified whole that was responsive and influential to the needs of the community.

Idris Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones have developed a variety of original productions that demonstrate their vision of "Art as Social Activism." They have collaborated with nationally renowned artists such as choreographer Bill T. Jones, the late artist Keith Haring, writers Pearl Cleage, Ntozake Shange, and Eve Ensler, and tenor saxophonists Chico Freeman. Having toured in the United States, Africa, Japan, the Caribbean, and Europe regularly for thirty five years, Cultural Odyssey also continues to establish strong artistic roots and community involvement in San Francisco by showcasing their productions.