Recent Graduate turns his Dissertation into Art

in Alumni News, News
July 8th, 2014

onajephotoOnaje X. Offley Woodbine concentrated in Religion and Psychology in the GDRS after earning a Master of Theological Studies at BU’s School of Theology. A native of the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, he graduated from Newton South High School. Onaje spent a post-graduate year at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey before matriculating to Yale. While at Yale he played on the University’s varsity Basketball team and made All-Ivy. Onaje successfully defended his dissertation in March of this year and is already enjoying significant professional success while launching some remarkable projects.

Currently, Onaje is collaborating with co-Directors Anna Meyer and Jay Paris to create a mixed-genre performance entitled In the Paint, which is based on the street basketball narratives he collected during his dissertation research. The show premieres July 21, 2014, in Harlem, NYC, which is the birthplace of street basketball in the United States.

Onaje provided us with the following description of the performance: “In the Paint is a mixed genre performance of the remarkable and true stories of young men who reconnected physically, emotionally, and spiritually to parts of themselves that violence and abandonment had taken. Their journeys are allegories enmeshed to experiences on inner city basketball courts that reveal universal truths encompassing all of us seeking identity and purpose. It is on the court that harsh truths about fear, resistance, loss and the underlying beauty of life surface in revelations of self-discovery that are practical and also profoundly metaphysical. These stories will touch audiences deeply without regard to age, race, or basketball knowledge. In the Paint will be staged in-the-round to engage audiences in the process of self-discovery utilizing storytelling, modern and hip hop dance, Spoken Word, rap, trumpet, and saxophone.”