KET Arts



The Program

About POOF!

A New Perspective on Domestic Abuse from a Rising Voice in Contemporary Theater

What happens when an abused wife condemns her husband to Hell and he actually goes? Rosie Perez, as “Loureen,” finds out in Poof!, the second installment of KET's American Shorts series. Best described as a drama with comic elements, Poof! also stars Tony Award-winner Viola Davis as the friend who helps Loureen discover the power of her own voice.

Poof! confronts the issue of domestic violence, offering a new perspective on a serious subject. Adapted by African-American playwright Lynn Nottage from her awardwinning play, Poof! grew out of the author’s work with Amnesty International where she was “surrounded by pictures of abuse.” Nottage was particularly moved by photographs of victims of domestic violence. Unexpectedly, she found that humor was her entry point into the story. Poof! presents domestic abuse as universal, cutting across all lines of class and race, but also as a struggle that must be fought on an individual basis.

A Voice to be Reckoned With, a documentary on a new generation of black women playwrights, follows Poof! Featured is a formidable group of writers including Regina Taylor, Dael Orlandersmith, Kia Corthron, Kirsten Childs, and Lynn Nottage. Homage is paid to playwrights who have led the way, including Lorraine Hansberry, Ntozake Shange, Anna Deavere Smith, and Suzan-Lori Parks, the only four black women to have plays reach Broadway in the past 50 years.

Poof! was funded by generous grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Diversity Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts. American Public Television is the national distributor of Poof!

Corporation for Public Broadcasting   National Endowment for the Arts   American Public Television