Theaterlab presents the world premiere of Magdalena, an intimate multimedia solo work by the award-winning filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow Gabri Christa. Utilizing storytelling, visuals, and dance, the artist reveals a deeply personal account of experiencing her Dutch mother's dementia and an effort to piece together her past, marked by struggles with war, interracial marriage, and unconventional motherhood.
The titular character — Josephina Magdalena Aleida de Jong — lived a remarkable life. Born in Holland to a modest Dutch family, she survived the severe bombing of her hometown of Rotterdam during World War II and lived to meet a handsome middle-class black man from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, who became her husband. When Magdalena's memories started to fade, her daughter, Gabri Christa, took on the task of rebuilding her mother's life through stories, dance, and images. The resulting 60-minute multimedia piece is part family album, part story of love and race, but above all, a reckoning with the harrowing consequences of a devastating illness that affects an increasing percentage of the world's population.