From its original production in a Berkeley, California bar to the Tony-nominated Broadway production, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, by Ntozake Shange, brings an African-American woman’s perspective to the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College this October. Three performance dates are scheduled for October 15, 16 and 17, 2009 at 7:30PM.
A series of twenty poems, referred collectively as a "choreopoem," For Colored Girls is a breakthrough portrayal of African-American women's experiences in America, combining music, poetry and dance to celebrate their unique culture, while painting a poignant portrait of their terrible struggles. For Colored Girls is performed through a cast of nameless women, each known only by a color: "Lady in Yellow", "Lady in Red", etc. The poems tell stories of love, abandonment, domestic abuse and other issues faced by African-American women.
Director, Ashley Bateman, has been seen on stage in many local productions over the years with groups such as Batavia and LeRoy Rotary Clubs, Genesee’s Forum Players, and the Batavia Players. She has performed professionally with Opera Rochester and was also seen in the opera Ring of the Fettuccini’s at SUNY Fredonia where she graduated in 2005. While at Fredonia she studied voice, was a member of the Fredonia Chamber singers and participated in three concert tours of New York State as well as one to Seattle, Washington. In addition to her vocal training, she has also studied dance for over 15 years. She has directed I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Songs For A New World; Grease; Urinetown; and now adds For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When The Rainbow is Enuf to her resume. She is the daughter of Genesee professor and Human Services Program director, Connie Boyd.
Cast members include: Angelica Sistrunk, Lady in Brown, Syracuse, NY; Faith Horne, Lady in Green, Rochester, NY; Crystal Ray, Lady in Orange, Bronx, NY; Samara Brown, Lady in Blue, Bronx, NY; Nikole Marone, Lady in Red, Batavia, NY; and Nikkia A. Travis, Lady in Yellow, Rochester, NY.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to director such a poignant and profound show,” director, Ashley Bateman said. “The cast and crew have worked incredibly hard and have shown an amazing amount of dedication and respect from start to finish. I am extremely proud of each and everyone one of our performers and crew members.”
On September 3, 2009, Lionsgate Entertainment Cooperation announced that it was teaming up with Tyler Perry's 34th Street Films for a film adaptation of For Colored Girls. The film will be written, directed and produced by Perry. Confirmed actresses Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, and Jill Scott have all signed contracts to perform. Filming is set to begin in November 2009 and is scheduled to be released in 2010.
General admission ticket prices: $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for students, senior citizens and Genesee faculty, and $3.00 for Genesee students with a valid ID. Advanced tickets are strongly recommended. Contact the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at (585) 343-0055 x6814, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . The Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office accepts cash and checks only; credit cards are not accepted. For door-to-door directions, sent via email, visit www.genesee.edu.
Editor’s Note: A ‘Meet the Cast and Director’ photo shoot will take place on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 6:30PM in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. Please contact Donna Rae Sutherland at 585-343-0055 x6616 for further information.