“This girl is on fire”
Afia’s mission is to enlighten audiences
Afia Fields. Photo by Cynthia Smalley.
By Valerie Milano
Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today
Burn victim Afia Fields has hit the stage in her solo performance show called “I’m Dop3” directed by Debra De Liso. Afia allows the audience to experience the tragedy she encountered as a 3 year old child in a basement fire in Baltimore. She lost her sibling and cousin while she was the only one to make it out alive with third degree burns.
Not for the faint of heart, but for the real show goer. You want art? Well, come see Afia in the Elephant Theatre in Hollywood while the show is still running. Hollywood Today was very impressed.
Afia’s story is centered primarily around her appearance and her burn survivor experience, however she embraces it. She reveals her humanity once we are relieved of her experience and are allowed to share her girlish desires to be a dancer, singer and actress. In one scene, she talks about joining a drill team in school when she was considered for a spot on the team, but her appearance (causing obvious concerns for a few of the girls on the team) has no bearing on her outcome. She soon becomes captain of the drill team. She shares her story of surmounting adversity, offers moments of empathy for the audiences potential reaction to her life story, then she almost leads us into her mass repertoire of talent. She sings and dances and we just need a bit more of that.
Although Afia utilizes her burn story as a central theme, we need to see more of her journey with less gaps in time. As one audience member (Lynn Manning) was heard saying, “we need to see the family’s struggle for the three months that Afia was in a coma, when the event happened.” I agree, she has the ability to play multiple characters and we need to see more of that during those all important lapses in time.
Overall, the performance was good while the direction and arc of her journey was clear. A must see for local theatre goers as Afia Fields is setting her career as a solo performer in a wonderful direction.
Chaquon’ Afia Whitfield (Afia Fields) has been performing since 5 years old singing, dancing, acting & writing poetry. Seen in many performances including ” Little shop of Horrors,” “High School Musical,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “The Venus Hottentot.” She has been awarded the Gold & Bronze Medals of the NAACP ACT-SO competition.
Also in partnership with the RED-CROSS Organization Afia traveled all over the state of Maryland performing her one-woman show as a burn-survivor. Afia attended Baltimore School of the Arts, California Institute of the Arts and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has been taught by some of the best acting coaches including Rain Pryor, and Tracie Thoms. In Afia Field’s original solo play show , I’m Dop3,
Afia tells her story of being the only third degree burn survivor of a fire, at the age of three. She shares her great courage re-learning how to walk, how to step back outside, and graduate from college as an actor and ultimately step into the entertainment industry.
Afia’s mission is to enlighten audiences and help them recognize the difference between a victim & SURVIVOR. Afia’s courage continues to be acknowledged in so many ways and is a hope for all who may feel as if the world is up against them.
Performance dates and times:
“I’m Dop3!” runs Fri and Sat. nights 8pm Dec 7-Jan 19th (no shows on Dec 28 and 29.
Place: Elephant Theatre
1076 Lillian Way Los Angeles, CA 90038
Things to bring: a handkerchief
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