Play exposes issues
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 6:50 p.m.
The production of Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enough" opened last Friday at The Star Pavilion as it was presented by teen members and the founders of Madear's Kids World of Stars.
The play, which has been held over for an additional week, will be presented at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and again on Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 8-10 at The Star Pavilion, 1315 NW 53rd Ave., Suite D. At the Nov. 10 performance, $1 of every ticket sold will be donated to breast cancer research. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and students.
Dr. Felicia Walton, who directed the play and is the artistic director of Madear's Kids, shared a powerful production that was dramatically compelling as she mixed poetry, music and dance to create a feeling of unity between the actors, their characters and the audience.
The play, based on a series of 20 poems, or choreopoems, was performed by a cast of seven nameless women, each known only by the color of their costumes.
Each of the actresses delivered a stellar performance as they told their story about their men, their poverty, their environment and their experiences with love and abandonment, date rape, domestic violence and abortion.
Paris McKay (Lady in Brown) told about her high school graduation night, drinking alcohol and losing her virginity in the back of a Buick. Director Walton (Lady in Blue) danced as she recounted fun times dancing the mamba in Latino clubs in the South Bronx in New York City. Later, she took the audience on a horrific ride of domestic violence that left some in the audience in tears.
Alice Walton (Lady in Red), Madear's executive director, spoke about a lover who took advantage of her and how she debased herself for his love. Monique Allen (Lady in Orange) tugged at the audience's heart strings with a painful description of an abortion. Tina Smith (Lady in Green) spoke about being raped in her bedroom at 8 years old by a family friend.
Elaina Walton (Lady in Purple) and her two best friends were in love with the same man. L'Tanya Van Hamersveld (Lady in Yellow) gave a compelling performance through a poem titled, "someone almost walked off wid alla my stuff," about losing herself for the love of a man who was not worth loving.
The play ends on a positive note as the women experience rebirth and look to a new life through their belief in God.
Data Jones and Diedra Wilks, the Rainbow Dancers, performed between scenes as they punctuated the emotions delivered by the nameless women.
The play garnered rave reviews from the audience.
Madeline McCloud said the actresses demonstrated deep feelings and emotions. "It showed the complexities of our lives," said McCloud. "In their stories, I saw parts of myself."
"I thought it was powerful and very empowering for black women or any women," said Kendra Omanga.
"It was extraordinary, stunning and simply beautiful," said Johnny Zokovitch, one of only two men in the audience.
Felicia and Alice Walton gave members of the cast high marks for their dedication and unity.
"I feel that the actresses put their hearts out to the audience and exceeded my expectations" said Felicia Walton. "They came together as one to bring the message that regardless of where you find yourself, as long as you can lift your head up, you can come up and out of a bad place."
"We feel we were able to get our messages across," said Alice Walton. "The actresses played their parts very well to complete the play."
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