entertainment · history · published

Review of a Moton Museum production

A version of this story appeared in The Rotunda (archive)

Last Thursday, the Moton Museum hosted the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, by Ntozake Shange. It takes place in the post-Vietnam War 1970s era and highlights the struggles faced by African- American women during that time period. None of the characters have actual names. Instead, they are represented by a colored sash. Each scene was a series of monologues by one character while the other characters frequently chimed in to add their thoughts on the action.

Starting off with what went well, all of the women were very expressive and, for the most part, enunciated their lines very well. The audience sees a brief selection of the various stages of life that an African American woman in the 1970s went through, starting in her carefree teenage years and ending somewhere nearing middle age. As life continues, the women run into more and more problems, and the situations that they find themselves in become darker. This allows for various important social issues to be discussed, such as domestic and sexual violence, as well as misogyny, victim blaming and racism.

Yet despite these positive aspects, the show did have its faults. There were times when the actresses spoke too quickly, and it was difficult to keep up with what they were saying. Secondly, the storyline was sometimes difficult to follow. For example, the Lady in Blue started her monologue talking about problems that she faced because of her race and gender, but by the end of it, she was talking about being rejected when she asked out a man on a date. It just seemed to move a little too fast, with not much of a transition in between. There were also some issues with costuming. The Lady in Purple’s sash was a very light purple, so she was easily confused with the Lady in Pink, whose sash was a darker shade than one usually thinks of pink as being.

Though, in the end, it was a really great show and included actresses that had been in it before.

Nickeshia Williams, who played the Lady in Lavender, said that they “have done this production before, in other venues at Virginia State University,” and that they recently did an “encore performance at Virginia State.”

This was a great performance that one would expect from such an experienced cast with a great message.

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