can i touch it?



a new play by Eliana Pipes
adapted from The HOOPS Project by Nicole Acosta

directed by Tonasia Jones
dramaturgy by afrikah selah

in partnership with Boston Playwrights’ Theater and the City of Boston’s Office of Arts and Culture

Jul 12 - Aug 11, 2024

The Strand Theatre (543 Columbia Road, Dorchester)

FREE with Pay-What-You-Want tickets!



Hoop earrings are way more than just an accessory. They represent family, resilience, and self-expression. They represent the freedom to shine in a world that’s constantly trying to dim the lights. From Chicago to Oaxaca to right here in Boston, these earrings shout “I’m here, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Eliana Pipes brings 5,000 years of history to life with Hoops, a joyous celebration of Black, Latine, and Indigenous culture. Based on a series of intimate interviews, this vibrant and playful choreopoem-esque collage of self-adornment and heritage shows off just how much power a pair of hoops can hold.

Press and Buzz

Producing Partners


Company One Theatre is producing
Hoops to AMPLIFY:

  • our fourth year of Public Art for Public Good at The Strand Theatre, where we continue to premiere new work by BIPOC artists and create unique, dynamic events for all ages.

  • unwavering expressions of self as powerful tools for resistance, ancestral reclamation, and collective and personal liberation.

  • the intertwined personal and communal histories that have passed between generations and shape our understanding of culture, status, and evolution.

  • community partners and organizations who expand our definitions of beauty, foster authentic gender expression, and celebrate a subversion of the dominant culture.

  • accessible creative development programs like PlayLab (of which playwright Eliana Pipes is an alum) that create opportunities for emerging theatremakers to hone their craft and become civically-engaged artists.

Connectivity Partners

  • more to come!


  • Check back closer to the production for a list of resources and action steps!



Brandie Blaze

Brandie Blaze

Elijah Brown

Elijah Brown

Albamarina Nahar

Albamarina Nahar

Kaili Y. Turner

Kaili Y. Turner

Karimah Williams

Karimah Williams


Eliana Pipes, Playwright

Tonasia Jones, Director

afrikah selah, Lead Dramaturg

Kimstelle Merisma, Assistant Director

Raqael Duarte Hunt, Co-Dramaturg


Brandie Blaze she/her

Brandie Blaze, a multifaceted artist hailing from Dorchester, MA, is a force to be reckoned with in both the rap and theater worlds. Nominated for three Boston Music Awards and gracing the stage as a 2024 Celtics halftime performer, Blaze effortlessly blends her talents as a rapper, actress, writer, and composer. Influenced by the likes of Missy Elliot, Lil Kim, and DMX, her dynamic performances captivate audiences with her raw energy and lyrical prowess. Blaze has shared stages with legends such as GZA of Wu Tang, Souls of Mischief, BbyMutha and JPEGMAFIA, showcasing her versatility and range as an artist. Her presence on the 2023 Boston Calling lineup and starring role in the musical Come To Pass solidify her status as a rising star in both the music and theater scenes.

Elijah Brown they/he

Elijah Brown is so excited to be a part of this process, much love to the wonderful cast and creatives! <3 His recent credits include: Orpheus in the Overworld (Orpheus) with Fresh Ink Theater Company, Romeo and Juliet (Lady Montague) and Macbeth (Caithness) with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Power Play (Sarah) Artist’s Theater of Boston, Antigone (Creon), and As You like It (Duke Senior) with Emerson College. So much love to this beautiful cast who has spread such an immense amount of love throughout this process <3 Enjoy the show!!

Albamarina Nahar she/her

Albamarina Nahar is an Afro Latinx actress born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Nahar moved to New York City in 2013 to pursue her career in film and television. After returning home from a volunteer gap year program with Global Citizen Year in Brazil, Nahar attended the New York Film Academy to further her acting and film studies. Albamarina’s role in the film 250 won the Cultural Perspective-Independent Producer award at the Hometown Media Awards in Philadelphia. Nahar was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress at Jersey City’s Golden Door Film Festival playing Toni in the feature film Bus Stop. She relocated to Los Angeles, California in 2019 to further her career. Nahar is actively working on her own indie original projects. Her short film Phases of a Goddess was selected for The Bitesize Film Festival 2021, Dominican Film Festival in New York 2021, and Halifax Black Film Festival 2022. Nahar is actively building her bicoastal multifaceted career as an actress, writer, filmmaker, dancer, artist, and entrepreneur.

Kaili Y. Turner she/her

Kaili Y Turner is an Afro-Indigenous (Nipmuc), actor, comedian, writer/director, and puppeteer, and mom to two boys. She is elated to be returning to the Boston stage in another Kristen Greenidge play, following her C1 debut in 103 Within The Veil twenty years ago. Kaili recently finished a regional tour in the Obie winning play The Nosebleed as part of the Lucille Lortel nominated cast. Selected credits include: Fires in the Mirror, Actors Studio Drama School; The Nosebleed, Lincoln Center; My Story is Gluskabe, Penobscot Theater; and 103 Within the Veil, Company One. To follow Kaili’s journey visit or @MadamnStarlight on IG.

Karimah Williams she/her

Last seen in King Hedley II (Tonya) Actors’ Shakespeare Project. Chicken and Biscuits [u/s] (The Front Porch Arts Collective); can i touch it? [u/s], Black Super Hero Magic Mama (Company One); Onward, Votes for Woman (Birch Tree Productions); Coriolanus, For Colored Girls… (Praxis Stage Company). Film: Aftershock (The History Channel), Ye (Jagun Fly Productions). Web Series: Love Undone (Joseph Goncalves). Education: BFA in Theatre Performance from Salem State University. Karimah is a Boston Public School teacher.

Eliana Pipes she/her

Eliana Pipes is a playwright and filmmaker based in her hometown of Los Angeles. Her plays include BITE ME (world premiere off-Broadway WP Theater & Colt Coeur); DREAM HOU$E (world premiere co-production Alliance Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, and Baltimore Center Stage, published by Concord Samuel French); HOOPS (world premiere commission Milwaukee Chamber Theater). She holds commissions from Two River Theater and South Coast Repertory. Her work has been developed or presented at the New York Theatre Workshop Dartmouth Residency, Playwright’s Realm Scratchpad Series, South Coast Repertory Pacific Playwright’s Festival, NNPN National New Play Showcase, Old Globe Powers New Voices Festival, Fire This Time Festival, and Drama League DirectorFest. Her writing awards include the Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship, Alliance Kendeda Prize, Leah Ryan Prize, KCACTF Harold and Mimi Steinberg Award, National Latine Playwrights Award, and Dr. Floyd Gaffney Award. BA English Columbia University, MFA Playwriting Boston University.

Tonasia Jones she/her

Regional Credits include BLKS (Speakeasy); 3Miles (Huntington); The Elephant in The Room (Central Square); Proclamation (A.R.T); Raza (Front Porch); Legends, Statements, and Stars (The Theater Offensive); The Tempest (Wittenberg University); It’s a Wonderful Life (Greater Boston Stage);  Pay No Worship (Flat Earth); Octavia & Kleopatra. Assistant Director credits include How I Learned What I Learned (Huntington); The Revolutionists (Central Square); and Saturday Night/Sunday Morning (Lyrics Stage).  Tonasia has a BFA in from Emerson College, and trained at Shakespeare Theatre Company D.C. She is located primarily in Boston and travels for freelance opportunities.

afrikah selah they/them

afrikah selah is a Boston-based cultural worker specializing in dramaturgy, new play development, and arts journalism. With a passion for dialogue and a desire to explore new ideas in innovative ways, they value creative collaboration that strives to build community towards a more equitable world. Currently, they hold the position of NNPN New Work Producer in Residence at Company One Theatre, and are also a 2023-24 TCG Rising Leader of Color. You can find out more at

Kimstelle Merisma she/her

Kimstelle Merisma is a queer Haitian-American actress and emerging playwright based in both Boston and Providence. Kimmi currently works as the Assistant to the Artistic Director at Company One Theatre. She recently graduated from Emerson College, receiving her BFA in Theatre and Performance with a minor in African American & Africana Studies. Kimmi’s heart, mind, and craft exist at the intersection of theatre arts, storytelling, and community-strengthening. As an artist and C1 staff member, Kimmi’s focus is bringing under-represented stories to the stage and showcasing faces and bodies American theatre has previously denied. As a lover of humanity, Kimmi is devoted to bringing people together through makeshift art, unapologetic love, and rambunctious joy.

Raqael Duarte Hunt she/they/ella

Raqael is an Elliot Norton award-winning actor and the Education Program Manager for Company One. After a decade-long hiatus, they have returned to the production space as a dramaturg after joining C1’s Season 24 Volt Lab cohort. Melding skills of data integration from their work as an astrological and Ayurvedic consultant with the research and analysis lens they cultivated as a BA in Cultural Anthropology, Raqael brings deep heart empathy to the process of making meaningful theatrical experiences. It is an honor to support others to refine and accentuate their artistic voice. Mother to two amazing small humans, Raqael is deeply invested in caretaking the human relationship with our natural world and sincerely desires liberation for all. Step one: divest from the cop in the heart.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association

^ Member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829