Winner of the 2011 Award for Excellence in Theatre from the DC Black Theatre Festival, "In unFRAMED writer and performer Iyaba Ibo Mandingo tells the story of his journey from Antigua to America. It wasn't without tribulations; navigating treacherous times without a father, Mandingo turned to art. unFRAMED puts the art front and center: Mandingo uses painting, poetry, prose and song to tell a story that echoes the lives of many." - Times Herald Record.
At the age of eleven, Iyaba is plucked from the tropical comfort of his childhood and taken to a new life in a strange country. unFRAMED is his poetic tale of life as an immigrant - from boyhood in Antigua to manhood in America. Using canvas, paint, poetry, prose and song, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo tells a story of his transformation -from "Mommy Me No Wanna Go Merrica" - a prophetic piece that hints at the many trials he will face in a new land - to his powerful political poetry which leads to his arrest and attempted deportation in post 9/11 America, Iyaba shares his rage, his determination, and his hope while he paints his self-portrait and successfully struggles to redefine his humanity, rediscover his smile, and truly accept himself for the first time. Presented in conjunction with an exhibit of his original artwork, audiences are invited into the studio of the artist where painting and poetry create unframed art.