Theater Alliance continues Season 13 with repertory productions of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange and Word Becomes Flesh by Marc Bamuthi Joseph. These productions will run concurrently at the Anacostia Playhouse from February 25 to March 26, 2016.
These productions will be directed by Helen Hayes Award Winner Deidra Starnes, who starred in for colored girls… Off-Broadway directed by Shange, and Psalmayene 24, who, along with Joseph, is one of the pioneers of Hip-Hop theatre.
“These pieces are such a natural pairing,” says Producing Artistic Director Colin Hovde. “Bamuthi drew inspiration from Ntozake when first creating Word Becomes Flesh, and the poetic form and ensemble-driven storytelling really complement one another.”
When Theater Alliance first presented Word Becomes Flesh in 2013 it was as a touring production directed by Joseph, modified from solo show to a show for five performers. This upcoming production will be the first without Joseph’s direct involvement and will feature previous Theater Alliance performers Louis E. Davis and Justin Weaks (Season 12: Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea), as well as Theater Alliance newcomers Chris Lane, Clayton Pelham, Jr., Gary L. Perkins, III. Tony Thomas will choreograph and Nick tha 1da will create original music for the piece.
Starnes will be maintaining the traditional cast size and colors of for colored girls (7), but will be using the version of the text that Shange updated in 2010 that references both HIV and the Second Gulf War. This production will feature previous Theater Alliance performer Sharisse Taylor (Season 12: Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea) and Theater Alliance newcomers Christa Bennett, Lolita Clayton, Kashayna Johnson, Naomi LaVette, Alina Collins Maldonado, and Natalie Graves Tucker. Choreography will be by Sandra Holloway.
Most performances will be of one of the shows, with Previews, Sunday Performances, and Opening and Closing performances presenting both shows back to back with an extended intermission. Sunday performances on March 6, 13, and 20 will be followed by panel discussion with special guests to be announced. Producing Artistic Director Colin Hovde adds, “They’re such powerful pieces on their own and, we believe, will be more powerful together. Though the shows present the experience of one gender, the other gender is always present and alluded to. Deidra and Psalm talk about the shows being in a relationship with one another, which we think is a very apt metaphor. Our hope is that presenting these pieces together will help to open up a conversation in the community about traditional gendered behavior, and provide opportunities for audiences to really listen to the stories being told, and find unexpected connections to the stories, and to one another.”
for colored girls… and Word Becomes Flesh will run at the Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon PL SE from February 25 – March 26, 2016. Performances of each show will alternate Thursday-Saturday at 8:00PM and Saturdays at 2:00PM. Both pieces will be shown back-to-back during Previews February 25-27, and regular performances on Sundays March 6, 13, and 20, and on Saturday, March 26.