Construction closures through Sep 7. Our lobby and galleries will be closed until the Opening Night Party for Bay Area Now 8. For ticket services, visit us Tue–Sun at the YBCA Theater, 700 Howard Street or call 415-978-2787. Office visitors, please come to our service entrance at 130 3rd Street.

Okwui Okpokwasili

Poor People’s TV Room

May 09 2018 — May 10 2018
This Performance is now closed
Part of
Transform Fest – Spring 2018
An interdisciplinary, intensely visual, and textured lens to look at issues of gender, culture, and identity to create a visceral experience where the past is alive and unleashed in the present.

Bessie Award–winning artist Okwui Okpokwasili integrates movement, song, text, and visual imagery in Poor People’s TV Room, giving voice to the oppressed while shedding light on women’s enduring power. Inspired by Nigerian political history, the performance integrates the buried narratives of women in the country and resonates with present actions and political resistance throughout the world. The work was inspired by two historic incidents in Nigeria: the Women’s War of 1929, a resistance movement against British colonial powers; and the Boko Haram kidnappings of more than three hundred girls, which launched the Bring Back Our Girls movement. Women were central to these campaigns, and have played essential and powerful roles in Nigeria’s independence. Poor People’s TV Room envelops the viewer in a multidimensional world to look at issues of gender, culture, identity, and women’s strength, where the past is alive and unleashed in the present.

Please note: There will be no late seating for this performance.

*Post-Show Artist Conversation plus Q&A


Regular Admission:
Wed, May 9: $15 in Advance / $20 at the Door
Thu, May 10: $20 in Advance / $25 at the Door

Senior, Teacher, Student:*
10% off regular admission

*Available in advance at our Box Office or by phone: 415-978-2787.

Purchase more and save

Buy tickets for two or more Transform performances and take 15% off your purchase. YBCA members can save up to 25% on tickets!

YBCA Members

Pay What You Can level: Regular admission

Individual level and above:
YBCA Members enjoy 20% off regular admission to all YBCA presented performances, with no ticketing fees. Plus, use your membership to buy discounted tickets for two or more Transform performances and take an additional 5%.

All Access and Curators Circle: YBCA Members at the All Access level and above enjoy free ticket(s) to Transform. Your benefits include complimentary ticket reservations to one performance by each participating artist, allowing you to see up to 8 amazing performances at no cost.

To purchase online, login with your YBCA account to unlock member prices.

Not yet a YBCA Member? Join now »


Mini Schedule
Take a quick look at each day’s programs below. For the full schedule, see the TRANSFORM Fest page.
MAY 10
MAY 11
MAY 13
MAY 16
MAY 17
MAY 18
Smart Night Out
YBCA Member Exclusive
MAY 19

Photo: Mena Burnette of xmbphotography.

The presentation of Poor People’s TV Room was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

YBCA Programs are made possible in part by: The James Irvine Foundation.

Additional Funding for YBCA Programs: National Endowment for the Arts, Abundance Foundation, Grosvenor, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

The Performance Season is made possible in part by: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Panta Rhea Foundation.

Additional Funding for YBCA Performances: Surdna Foundation,, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Zellerbach Family Foundation.