Essential Theatre showcases narrative of award-winning playwright

Photo credit: Sydne Vigille

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Essential Theatre tied the bow on their semester-long production of plays with Ednesha Ida Mae Holland’s award-winning play “From the Mississippi Delta.”

Anedra Smalls, professor of theatre, directed the show with actresses Sarah Lubin, Joy Faggs and Jessica Allen. On Wednesday, the Essential Theatre premiered the show filling all the seats in the Charles Winter Wood Theatre with students and FAMU stakeholders.

Holland wrote the play to express the critical life issues that she triumphed over growing up in the Mississippi Delta. Despite her harsh lifestyle, she still overcame adversity by beating the odds as a civil rights activist and educator.

Each actress played a dynamic role in the play switching through multiple characters at a time. “From the Mississippi Delta” is a unique play that is written in narrative form told by Woman 1, Woman 2 and Woman 3.

“The set was beautiful; the actresses were strong jumping from different characters in different scenes. All of them delivered strong monologues narrating the story with so much emotion. The ladies were very dedicated to their character, said

The set displayed in the theatre was fluorescent in color with lights on various fabrics that hung from the ceiling. The set designer Ruben Ariana worked closely with his tech team to design a vintage modern set that embodies the Mississippi Delta.

Niyada Thomas, a Florida State University communications student, attended the opening performance for the “From the Mississippi Delta,” who described the play as being erotic.

“The play was very erotic and humorous for the most part throughout the show. It was emotional to see her get rapped by her babysitters’ father thinking money was the motive. In that scene, it was sad to watch Woman 2 get taken advantage due to her being naïve,” Thomas said.  

Photo credit: Sydne Vigille 

“From the Mississippi Delta” travels through 40 years of time in the show. Woman 1, 2 and 3 did well in expressing the disparity of time in the civil war era. All of them worked hard in staying succinct with each other when transitioning from one character to another.

“I like the concept of all the different characters being tied in one. At the end of the play, it seemed like the characters all accomplished their goal and it was enlightening to see,” said Deja Holton, a sophomore pre-nursing student who attended the play.

“From the Mississippi Delta” is open to FAMU students and the public. The production contains strong language and mild adult themes and it is recommended that children under the age of 16 not attend. Please review FAMU’s Essential Theatre website for times and admission prices for remaining show dates.