Although Hurt Village
is set in Memphis, Tennessee, it tells a familiar story of gentrification — one that’s has particular significance here in the Bay Area. It carefully follows three generations of women — thirteen-year-old Cookie, her mother Crank, and her great-grandmother Big Mama — as displacement forces them to search for affordable housing where it no longer exists. Originally written by Katori Hall, the play takes on new meaning through Nataki Garrett’s inspired directing. Garrett spent her childhood moving from one Oakland home to the next with her single mother. She hopes that Hurt Village will be able to stress the government’s involvement in the process of gentrification — in removing locals from the communities they helped create. The show, which premiered on July 16, will run through the two following weekends, and close on June 26. It will take place, as all Ubuntu shows do, at a non-traditional venue; this time around, watch from the pews of Grace Temple Church (1433 12th Ave., Oakland) as these three women argue, overwhelm, and direct our attention to the changing Bay.