I read it and felt like someone hit me in the gut. This is a tough play, and I didn't immediately see the beauty in it. I read it again and again. My mind began to open to the possibilities....and to the message of hope at the heart of this play. Verda and I met to read and discuss the play together. We still didn't know what shape this project would take.
Then Sheila Glasscock at Pulaski Tech asked me if I wanted to direct this spring. I thought of our student body--the majority of which is African-American female. I thought of the possibilities for discussion this play would provide. I talked to Verda, and we said "Yes."
We have rehearsed for almost a month now with a cast gathered from our student body as well as the Little Rock/North Little Rock community. We have a partnership with Laman Library in North Little Rock to facilitate a series of community workshops. At the first two, participants will read and discuss the play. At the final workshop, participants will create a collage and writing inspired by the play. We will exhibit their finished work in our performance space. And we have a partnership with Mosaic Templars to use their beautiful performance space for free. In addition to those community engagement endeavors:
-many of the PTC English instructors are including *For Colored Girls* in their curriculum
-the PTC Committee for Community Diversity will host an on-campus discussion panel the week after the play
-the PTC Network for Student Success will have a special night to attend the play and host a "Real Talk" in which they will watch and discuss scenes from the film
-young women from the LRSD Accelerated Learning Center will create living statues of the characters for the pre-show
-young spoken word poets will write poems based on the young women's living statues to be displayed next to the women
-I will lead on-campus workshops in which students create mini-choreopoems.
-We will present selections at PTC's Poetry Night.
So THIS is what consumes my thoughts at the moment. I can't wait to see how we bring this piece to life.
NOTE: Image created by Amy Bonds and is current proof of publicity design--NOT final.