Show explores womanhood

Years of slavery, discrimination and racism have damaged African-American culture, originality and self-image. One of the groups most plagued by this legacy is black women.

Ntozake Shange’s “for colored girls who have considered suicide /when the rainbow is enuf” explores issues like rape, beauty, freedom and self-accountability.

The play will kick off the Essential Theatre’s 2002-2003 season, “Reclaiming Ourselves.”

The play is told through dancing, prose and poetry, a combination known as a choreopoem.

The cast of seven women, each representing a color of the rainbow, tell the trials and tribulations of black women.

Director Valencia E. Mathews said the play “stares into the hearts of women, and shows their sorrows, joy and remarkable strength.”

Since art often reflects life, the play will help teach women about self-esteem said Dana Jackson, 20, a junior psychology student from Newark, N.J.

“When something is powerful it is going to effect you,” she said.

Monica Woods, 19, a junior theatre student from Pensacola agreed.

“The play will show women if they truly love themselves, the rest will fall into place.”

Although the cast and most of the production staff is made up of women, Shange’s work relates to everyone.

The production’s “lady in blue,” Altovise Laster, 22, said that men need to know the play is not about “male bashing.”

“It teaches that men can be proud of women, learn about women, and empower them … if the men that view this can let their guards down they will see the things that females really think and feel, but can’t say about relationships and life,” said the senior theatre student from Fort Lauderdale.

“Lady in orange,” Chanel White, 21, a senior theatre student from Detroit said, the choice is perfect since self-embracement is one of “for colored girl’s” main themes.

The department of Essential Theatre will show the play in the Charles Winter Wood Theater Oct. 23 through Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. , and Oct. 27 at 2 p.m.

It’s free for FAMU students with Rattler Cards.

The show is $10 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, $5 for students and children.