WMU News

'For colored girls..' at York Arena Theatre

Jan. 25, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A dramatic investigation of what it means to be of color and female in American society will be staged at WMU, when University Theatre presents nine performances of "For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.." Jan.31 through Feb. 9.

"For colored girls.." will be staged in York Arena Theatre. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m. and will be presented Thursday, Jan. 31, through Saturday, Feb. 2, and Tuesday, Feb. 5, through Saturday, Feb 9. There will be a single matinee performance on Sunday, Feb. 3, beginning at 2pm.

The performance on Friday, Feb. 8, will be co-hosted by the University Theatre and the Black Arts and Cultural Center. A reception will follow the Feb. 8 show.

Tickets are $6 for all patrons and can be purchased by calling the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at 269 387-6222.

Ntozake Shange originally wrote "For colored girls.." in 1975 as a group of 20 poems for seven actors. It takes as its subject the power of black women to survive in the face of despair and pain. The poetry lends itself to movement and performance, and the collection quickly found its way onto the stage. It ran for seven months off-Broadway in New York City, then moved to Broadway and was subsequently produced throughout the United States and on television.

Director Karla Koskinen has looked forward to the opportunity to direct this play. "I am privileged to be working with a group of young women who are talented, open and excited to explore the many complex emotions and issues that the play addresses," she said.

Koskinen recently directed the acclaimed production of "Arcadia" for the University Theatre.

"For colored girls.." will be performed in the intimate York Arena Theatre, where the focus is on the actors and the text of the play, rather than scenic and costume elements.

The ensemble includes Altamiece "Tammy" Ballard, Cynthia Barker, Sylvia Beasley, Dayna Dantzler, Antoinette Hardeman, Tunisia Hardison and Nylda Mark.

"Having the opportunity to perform a piece of theatrical poetry about the lives of black women is a godsend," said performer Hardison. "It has brought out a sense of pride in me about who I am and where my strength lies."

Media contact: Shauna Thieman, 269 387-6222, shauna.thieman@wmich.edu

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