WILBERFORCE — The Central State University Department of Fine and Performing Arts, an Ohio Center of Excellence in Cultural and Societal Transformation will present Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, directed by Adjunct Professor of Theater, John Fleming, whose previous CSU productions include The Wiz and Ain’t Misbehavin.’
For Colored Girls, which opened on Broadway in 1977, is a series of 20 poems that depict the struggles and obstacles facing African-American women. The play is a “choreopoem” intended to speak to women of color and to offer guidance for Black girls. The characters are portrayed by seven ladies identified by seven different colors: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Brown, Purple. The play, in language that is sometimes harsh and realistic but always poetic, explores difficult issues of love, abandonment and rape, as each character reveals her story. The end of the play brings together all of the women for “a laying on of hands,” in which Shange evokes the power of womanhood.
A film version of the play, directed by Tyler Perry, was released in 2009.
The production features CSU students and staff, including Senetria Cain, Daya Good, Amara Hicks, Gabrielle Jones, Danette Kinney, Amoni Tyler and Asia White. MySonia Shorter-Litte is the production stage manager and A’amar Blair is the assistant director.
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf will have three performances: 1 p.m. April 25 at the National African-American Museum and Cultural Center; 7:30 p.m. April 26 at the Paul Robeson Cultural & Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall and 2:30 p.m. April 29 at the Camille O. & William H. Cosby Mass Communication Center on campus.
There will be a preview of the production as part of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s Synchronicity series on 7:30p.m. April 5 and 3 p.m. April 6 at the Dayton Art Institute, located at 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton.
Performances at all locations are free and open to the public. However, donations to benefit the CSU Fine and Performing Arts Program will be accepted. For more information, please call Michelle Crockett, Department of Fine and Performing Arts, Central State University 937-376-6403.