Originally performed at the United Nations' International Conference on Women's Rights in 2000, the show (as well as its title) contradicts the notion that patience is always a virtue. Jones' incarnations are based on real people and Internet research, but her characters -- and their words -- are all her own. Using a sheer scarf (wrapped around her head or balled up to form a doll) and a facility with accents and facial expressions, Jones morphs from Praveen, a shy Indian woman who finds the strength to talk about the regular beatings and rape she suffers at the hands of her husband, to Anna from Kenya, who at 16 lives in fear of genital mutilation, to Emeraude, a rebellious French woman who defies the law prohibiting women from working at night.
Jones' political and feminist leanings could be attributed to her own struggles with racial identity as the product of a mixed marriage. A Bryn Mawr student who once entertained aspirations of becoming a lawyer, she transformed a slew of amateur poems into a polished act, winning the infamously finicky Nuyorican Poets Cafe's Grand Slam Championship in 1997 and cementing her reputation as a spoken-word diva. Though her rise has been uncharacteristically smooth, it has not been without controversy: Jones doesn't traffic in theory alone. When she found herself last year in a legal imbroglio with the FCC -- which had fined an independent radio station in Portland, Ore., for playing "Your Revolution," her feminist reworking of Gil Scott-Heron's poem "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" -- Jones took advantage of the media's attention. She used it as a platform to fight for freedom of expression, taking the government agency to task for censoring her version as "patently offensive." Though her piece begins with fighting words -- "Your revolution will not happen between these thighs" -- it's hardly more distasteful than verses of certain rap artists.