Toshi Reagon

Work in Progress with Toshi Reagon: You're Having Too Much Fun So We're Gonna Have to Kill You

Friday, October 7, 2022 at 8:00pm
CFA Theater

FREE! Reservations required.

Click here to view photos from this event on flickr.

Read "Love + Fury" in the 2023 spring issue of the Wesleyan University Magazine.

Get a special first glimpse into the creative process of singer, composer, musician, curator, activist, producer, and storyteller Toshi Reagon as she concludes her year-long artist residency at Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts developing a new production. She will be joined for this work-in-progress showing by vocalists Be Steadwell, Josette Newsam, and Carla Duren, keyboard player Kim Jordan, bassist Fred Cash Jr., drummer Matt Graff, and multi-instrumentalist Adam Widoff on guitar.

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Reagon is creating the work You're Having Too Much Fun So We're Gonna Have to Kill You (formerly referred to as the “Disco Project.”) Through her original songs, her characters have an intergenerational conversation that surfaces how much our creativity fuels our living, even in the worst of circumstances. Reagon also explores the musical roots that led to disco, how the genre was later appropriated by pop music, and how its demise intersected with the AIDS crisis.

“Hard to resist the joy of a heartbeat pounding, hard to hide when somebody’s calling your name. Hard to take cover when you are bathed in beautiful light. Hard to be alone when everyone is moving together,” Reagon said. “Spend 24 hours a day with your soul activated and let the vibrations your body can make be your conductor and your collective salvation on Earth.”

Read more about Toshi Reagon's artist residency at Wesleyan University.

Read a 2021 interview with Toshi Reagon, after she won the Herb Alpert prize. She was interviewed by Wesleyan alumnus Banning Eyre ’79, who has worked with the Peabody Award-winning public radio program Afropop Worldwide since its inception in 1988.

“This is a rare opportunity for our campus and Middletown communities to engage with one of the most significant storytellers of our time,” said Fiona Coffey, Associate Director for Programming and Performing Arts, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theater at Wesleyan.

The work-in-progress showing will be followed by an outdoor disco party with artist manager, producer, remixer, music supervisor, performer, recording artist, writer, and DJ Bill Coleman. Collaborating disco choreographers and performers will include Madrone Cochran '23, Mika Foguel '25, Sabine Geary '23, Amaal Ladha '23, Charissa Lee '23, Halle Newman '23, and Rebeca Trevino '24; with guidance from Assistant Professor of the Practice in Dance and Visiting Assistant Professor of African American Studies Joya Powell.

Reagon’s artist residency at Wesleyan University is supported by the Mellon Foundation, as well as the Association of Performing Arts Professionals as part of their new program APAP ArtsForward, which supports the performing arts field’s safe, vibrant, and equitable reopening and recovery.

Toshi Reagon will also be presenting a second work-in-progress showing of You're Having Too Much Fun So We're Gonna Have to Kill You at Symphony Space in New York City on Thursday, November 10, 2022.

Photo by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography from Toshi Reagon's residency at the Center for the Arts in July 2022.