ArtCultureSex & Gender

40 years later, ‘for colored girls’ returns home

September 13, 2019
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More than four decades after making its New York debut at The Public Theater in 1976, Ntozake Shange’s seminal exploration of Black womanhood the play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, is returning to its spiritual home. Directed by Obie winner Leah C. Gardiner with choreography by Camille A. Brown, the revival will star Sasha Allen as Lady in Blue.

Inspired by Ms. Shange’s personal life, for colored girls weaves poetry with song and movement to dive deeply into the stories and perspectives of seven women of color — each identified solely by a color of the rainbow.  It is an unflinching look into emotionally raw experiences told with honesty and compassion, a journey for survival in a world where womanhood and Blackness can not be separated. In the Fall of 1976, it became only the second-ever play by a Black woman to be produced on Broadway — after Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun — and went on to be nominated for a Best Play at the Tony Awards.

Almost a year after Shange’s passing at age 70, director and collaborator Gardiner is seeing the revival they had been discussing this time last year to fruition. “She wanted a rainbow of women on that stage, and I gave her that,” Ms. Gardiner said one August afternoon at the Public, the New York Times reports. “And it saddens me to the core that she won’t be able to see that.”

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf is scheduled to run at the Public’s Martinson Hall through November 24. Tickets here.

We were blessed enough to host one of Shange’s last public performances recently at AFROPUNK Solution Sessions. Please enjoy her message to us, here.