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  • Writer's pictureAlex Matthews

Makena Hammond inspires many with show 'Black Woman in Deep Water'

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

The Academy is proud to announce that past graduate, Makena Hammond (Class of 2019), wrote and performed a solo show, “Black Woman in Deep Water,” at the 2021 Hollywood Fringe Festival. The show is inspired by the amazing true story of Margaret Garner, a runaway slave, who escaped with her husband, in-laws, and four small children while pregnant with a fifth, only to be recaptured by slave owners. Faced with a horrible decision, she takes the life of one of her children rather than allow them to suffer a life of slavery.


The incredible director, Jane Fleiss Brogger, was excited to share that the show won many awards, including "The Hollywood Encore Producer's Award," "Top of Fringe Award," "Best Solo Show Award," "Pick of the Fringe Award," "Splash Solo Award," and "Loose Change Award."


They will be having an encore show this Saturday, September 18th, at 7:30. The show will be performed as part of the Actor's Company at the LA Comedy Festival (Let Live Theater at 916 N.Formosa Ave.)


The play began as an assignment during Makena Hammond’s conservatory training. She was instructed to write a solo show about a real person but the assignment turned personal as she began researching the life of Margaret Garner. She found several parallels in their lives, including the names of Margaret and her husband sharing the same names as her own parents. Makena felt a connection to Margaret that compelled her to create the show, wanting to inspire compassion, love for African culture, and hope to a new generation of those of African descent who may not feel as connected to their African heritage as she does.


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