Saffronia: a play by Christiane D
“A full-blooded poetic melodrama about miscegenation and sexual slavery in the antebellum South, complete with a parable of a black woman’s struggle for freedom, the whole then infused with mystical overtones.”
– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Saffronia chronicles the life of a young child stolen from her slave mother, transformed in a New Orleans brothel, sold at a Fancy Girl auction, bought by a young man, at once her master and her lover. It chronicles the somewhat hidden, often romanticized American history of mulatto slavery, and the inherent sexual deviance that underlies breeding for profit.
Saffronia began as a poem by performance poet and Soma Mestizo singer Christiane D. It has been expanded here into a full multimedia performance. The play examines the world of the “mulatto balls” of the ante-bellum south — slave auctions dressed up as debutante balls, where young slave women, groomed in charm schools to be perfect mistresses, were sold as concubines to wealthy plantation owners.