T.N.B. (typical nigga behavior)

[Adapted from a Review]

T.N.B. is the documentation of a performance installation set in a former crack house in Dallas, Texas. It takes viewers on a disturbing, high-energy experience that is like attending a heady African American Studies lecture on the set of a blaxploitation film.

Written, directed, cast, and produced by Riccio and brought to life by a host of immensely talented actors, T.N.B. is frightening, sickening, humorous, unnerving, disturbing, and astonishing. There is no way to prepare for it, except by perhaps brushing up on your Cornel West, W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Malcom X, and blackploitation films.

Be prepared to confront the ghosts of your upbringing, whether they manifest more obviously in the form of White Guilt or still-stinging, if tacit, colonial oppression. No one is getting off the hook here.

T.N.B. is graphic. There are "f" words and "n" words. There is simulated violence of the most chilling description. And, actors will look you in the eyes after committing atrocities and rhetorically ask your approval.

Spooky confronts his past. In the end, Riccio's lesson is one of ritualistic healing, against all odds, and against miring self-destruction. But, despite the work's high-minded message, compelling arguments stand against artistic portrayals of racial violence -- both physical and verbal. Should such be avoided at the risk of inadvertent glamorization or at the accusation of gratuitous emotional pornography? Who suffers collateral damage? What are the consequences and who bears the responsibility? But, without T.N.B.'s aggressive push, neither would I have frankly and honestly asked myself those -- and so many more -- significant questions.

  • Thomas Riccio
  • Thomas Riccio
  • Dead White Zombies
  • David Jeremiah
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 21 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Black Magic
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Thomas Riccio

Thomas Riccio, performance and media artist, writer and director, is Professor of Performance and Aesthetics at the University of Texas at Dallas, previous positions: Professor of Theatre, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Artistic Director, Chicago's Organic Theater Company; Resident Director, Cleveland Play House; Assistant Literary Director, American Repertory Theatre; Visiting Professor of Theatre, University of Der es Salaam (Tanzania); University of Pondicherry (India); University of Nairobi, the Korean National University for the Arts; Visiting Professor of Anthropology and Ethnography, Jishou University (China); Visiting Professor Drama Therapy, California Institute of Integral Studies; and Artistic Director, Tuma Theatre, an Alaska Native performance group. He has directed at American regional theatres, including, LaMama ETC, The New York Theatre Workshop, the Teatro di Roma of Italy, and the National Theatre of Sakha (central Siberia). Riccio works extensively in the area of indigenous performance, ethnography, ritual, and shamanism, developing performances and fieldwork in South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Russia, Alaska, Korea, India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, and the Republic of Sakha (Siberia), which declared him a “Cultural Hero.” Notable projects include research and workshop projects in India and Nepal (2013), devising/directing performance project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2009), research and workshop project in Nairobi, (2002), performance project with the !Xuu Bushmen of the lower Kalahari (1994), two performance projects with the Zulu of South Africa (1992 and 1993), and a nationwide touring performance in Zambia (1994). He is working on a long term research and performance project with the Miao, an ethnic minority group in western China (2015-18) which will culminate with a large scale devised performance with traditional healers. Riccio has conducted workshops and given lectures throughout the world, most notably at the national theatres or their schools in Poland, Sweden, Finland, Kenya, Estonia, South Africa. He has received numerous honors and grants for his projects. Academic writings have appeared in TDR, TheatreForum, Theatre Topics, Theatre Research International, and PAJ. Peter Lang published Performing Africa: Remixing Tradition, Theater and Culture. He is the recipient of the International Distinction Prize in Playwriting from the Alexander Onassis Foundation; his play Rubber City ran in year-long repertory at the Kleist Theatre in Frankfort; and he has worked extensively as a Narrative Engineer for Hanson Robotics creating robot "brain" for the world's leading conversational robots. His photographs, videos, and installations have been exhibited in a variety of galleries. He is the Poo Pah Doo (aka Artistic Director ) of Dead White Zombies, a Dallas-based, post-disciplinary performance group, designing/writing/directing performance immersions: blah blah (2011), (w)hole (2012), Flesh World (2012), T.N.B. (2013), Bull Game (2013), kaRaoKe MoTeL (2014) and DP92 (2015). Currently he is working on Holy Bone, scheduled for Fall 2016. He was an artist in residence at Halka in Istanbul (2014) and at the Watermill Art Center (2016). He is currently collaborating with Sibyl Kempson on a series of twelve one-day performance rituals at the Whitney Museum, NYC

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