For Colored Girls

Presented as a part of Rethinking Race events at the University of Akron, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf was the directorial debut of company member India Burton. For Colored Girls, a choreo-poem/play written by Ntozake Shange, presents hardships that women have to deal with in everyday life, told through the eyes of seven “colored” women. The show follows their journey as they struggle to reveal the pain of heartbreak, abandonment, abuse and the search to find themselves. Highlighted by passion, humor, pain and sisterhood, the ensemble produced a remarkable  performance that left the audience longing for more.

The Ensemble

Taylor Adams
Caorl Eutsey
Julissa Faw
Nicci Faw
April Haugabrook
Sarah Taylor
April Turner

Director: India Burton
Stage Manager: Heather Beyer
Assistant Stage Manager: Anthony Satterwhite
Lighting Designer: Nathan Emerine
Sound Designer: Colin Teeling
Costume Designer: Kimmy and Kendra Strickland

A Review of For Colored Girls

Last night, I went to the opening of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf put on by UA students in Heads Up Productions at the Daum Theater behind Kolbe Hall.  It was absolutely, by far, the best thing I have ever seen in my 10 years at UA.  If you don’t know the play, it is a choreographed collection of dramatic monologues and poems by the brilliant poet/dramatist Ntozake Shange, first produced on Broadway in 1975 and by 1977 winning every poetry and drama prize imaginable:  including the Obie Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, Audience Development Committee (Audelco) Award, Mademoiselle Award, as well as garnering Shange a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award nomination.  The poems and monologues focus attention on the inner and outer struggles of black women, with self-image, self-love, relationships with men, impoverishment, motherhood, and sisterhood.  I first saw it in 1982, and can genuinely say I never was the same.

The most exciting part of last night’s performance, for me, was how flawlessly it was executed by our students–an astonishing accomplishments considering the complex choreography, ensemble unity and emotionally explosive nature of the script they had to follow.  BRILLIANTLY directed by a black female UA student, India Burton, and performed to PERFECT PITCH by six other black female UA students, this is the ONLY Rethinking Race Week event that it entirely initiated and executed by students.

-Dr. TJ Boisseau
The University of Akron
History Department

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