‘For Colored Girls …’evokes emotions from joy and laughter to sadness and pain

‘For Colored Girls …’evokes emotions from joy and laughter to sadness and pain
August 08
00:20 2019

By Monica Fatorma

Angelic voices, dynamic verses, and graceful dances defined the production of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf,” performed at Winston-Salem State University’s Dillard Auditorium during the National Black Theatre Festival. Directed by Anthony Stockard, the play is a retelling of the classic work of the same name by Ntozake Shange. “For Colored Girls” is often described as a choreopoem and tells the story of seven women of color. These women share their experiences about what it is like to be black, a woman, and oppressed. Although many scenes are filled with joy and laughter, several others evoke real sadness and pain.

JaKeetrius Adrianna, Leila Stephanie, Tia Faith,  Jamilla Rae, Natae Bush,  Meredith Noel, and Rayna Johnson, students in the undergrad program of Norfolk State University, are the seven actresses in the play. When asked how they prepare for these traumatic scenes, they replied, “It’s about understanding that these are real stories … it’s a vulnerable process and we connect emotionally, then connect the words to ourselves, and this allows us to delve into the pieces.”

The crowd was enthralled as these women seemed to float around effortlessly as they moved across the stage. The vibrant colors on stage and poignant monologues made it hard for anyone to look away. Although this retelling of Shange’s story was unique in that Stockard added some contemporary pieces to the play, it still held true to the original story.

Brianna Holland, a first-timer at the National Black Theatre Festival, and her friend Shannon Ashford, who had attended in previous years, seemed to love everything about the show. When asked what stood out to them the most, they stated, “The chemistry of all the actresses on stage … there was a really great flow and chemistry on stage that you could feel in the audience.” They also mentioned how impressed and blown away they were by the women’s vocals, which seemed to be a feeling shared by others in the audience.

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