Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Essential Theatre will showcase the play From the Mississippi Delta by Erdnesha Ida Mae Holland on March 28 in the Charles Winter Wood Theatre.
Directed by Anedra Small, an assistant professor of theatre at FAMU takes the lead in directing the emotional life story of Ednesha Ida Mae Holland.
From the Mississippi Delta was published in 1991 by Holland. She wrote the play to tell her broken story on how she dealt with rape, adversity, and insurgent acts of prostitution in her life. There are beauty and pain in this autobiographical play with a humorous touch to it.
There are three actresses featured in the play that will play "Woman 1," "Woman 2" and "Woman 3." Each actress has a role of playing multiple parts of Holland’s journey in Greenwood, Mississippi. Joy Fagg, a senior theatre performance student plays "Woman 1."
“It’s been an interesting experience, I never played a role where I was playing multiple characters at once. In this play, I learned how to be more diverse as an actress when I am working on character development. This is a show all FAMU students should watch because the play is universal and relative to everybody,” Fagg said.
The other lead actress in the play, Jessica Allen, a senior theatre performance student reflected on her own character development in the process of playing Erdnesha Ida Mae Holland.
"We are given the opportunity to humanize characters that would have been deemed two dimensional by our oppressors,” Allen said. “We become living narratives: the root of our essence as children of the African diaspora.”
From the Mississippi Delta is a painstaking theatrical play that embodies the theme of a broken oppressed young woman hitting rock bottom and reclaiming her life through triumphant. The Essential Theatre has dedicated their time to building a play that will impact the audience mentally, spiritually and visually.
The sets of the play are colorful and vibrant with a lot of fabric and material. The play travels through 40 years of time in Holland’s life story and the audience will see a dynamic change as the set changes throughout the play.
This show requires a different level of involvement from the students who are a part of tech because of the complexity of the set design. Ruben Ariana, the set designer of the play works with students to paint, build and design the set of shows in the Charles Winter Wood Theatre.
“The audience will see a beautiful transition of the set with the colors incorporated in the lighting. The way the light shines on the various fabrics used on the set of the play will help establish beautiful moments that are going to help tell the story,” Ariana said.
From the Mississippi Delta is open to FAMU students and the public. Please review FAMU’s Essential Theatre website for times and admission prices for selected dates. The play will run through April 1.