Webb Spins New Play

A southern play of spirituality and redemption, “Black Widow,” opens Friday night in Florida A&M’s Charles Winter Wood Theater.

The play was written by Florida A&M alumnus James Webb Jr. and is in its final stage of production.

“We hope to iron out the kinks and any script issues in order to get it ready for a full out performance,” said Marci Stringer, a theatre professor who plays Loretta in the production.

Stringer said that she thinks the audience will leave with questions about faith, life, death and purpose.

“There are no absolute answers given in the play,” said Stringer. “The playwright purposely doesn’t provide a solid, clean ending. It allows us as an audience to keep thinking about what we have just seen.”

The complexity and unpredictability of the plot, however, is what piqued her interest in the production and what will keep the audience captivated, she said.

“I love this play, the language and the musicality it possesses,” said Stringer. “I pray that I have the opportunity to work on the debut performance when it is complete.”

Webb hopes to have the show eventually on Broadway, and said he is pleased to have it picked up by the Essential Theater.

Kim Harding, a theater professor and producer of “Black Widow,” said that the theater department’s mission is to open its stage to those who would like a chance to share their stories with the world.

“What we do is to offer these budding artists a place to hone their craft, so that they are able to take them to other stages, maybe even the Broadway stage,” said Harding.

Harding says Black Widow is special to Essential Theater because the writer is a graduate of the theatre program.

“I think that it is essential for us to get new good plays out there by and for African Americans. There just aren’t a lot out there,” said Harding.

The show dates are Friday, Feb. 18, and Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m, in Tucker Hall.