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Theater: When the rainbow is enuf
AASU Masquers present award-winning classic
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In 1975, Ntozake Shange’s ground-breaking stage play was first produced.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf is a choreopoem that consists of a series of 20 poems. These poems are performed by a cast of African-American women, each known only by a color of the rainbow.

The poems deal with love, abandonment, rape, domestic abuse and abortion, but the play has its moments of laughter and joy as well. At the end of the play, the women come together for a healing “laying on of hands.”

For Colored Girls will be presented by the Armstrong Atlantic State University Masquers March 27-30 as part of Armstrongfest 2008. Connect Savannah spoke with student producer Tisha Whitaker, a senior at Armstrong, about the production.

Are there student producers for all Masquers productions?

Tisha Whitaker: We have a lot of student producers when we do Dramarama and student-directed shows. This is probably one of the first with a student producer and a faculty-member director. It has been very interesting and cool. I’m majoring in theater, in theater management. I plan on opening and operating my own Christian-based theater.

What makes this play unique?

Tisha Whitaker: One thing I really like about it is that it’s a choreopoem. like spoken word poetry. It has a lot of Ebonics. There’s not just one story line, it’s a combination of lines, scenes and monologues. It goes through anything a woman might encounter -- life, love, rejection. It’s a very emotion-driven show.

How many are in the cast?

Tisha Whitaker: We have seven women and are also using three men in the show. A lot of productions don’t let the men speak, but our director made the decision to have them speak. They’re depicted in many ways, such as a girl’s first love interest. There are men who are players, cheating boyfriends. One’s a war vet with a lot of anger and frustration who’s suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. A lot of people consider the show man-hating. We tried to stay clear of that because not all men are like that. We want men to come and watch the show and not be offended.

Is the cast composed of all AASU students?

Tisha Whitaker: The cast are all students at AASU, but not all theater majors. All could be, though. Alas, the other departments got to them first.

Is it for mature audiences?

Tisha Whitaker: Yes. There is strong language and some violence. And it’s a little sexy.

Who is in the cast?

Tisha Whitaker: Javelle Johnson is the Lady in Green, Lakeisha Williams the Lady in Blue, Richelle Few the Lady in Red, Ashton Carr the Lady in Yellow, Brooke Fortson the Lady in Orange, Amber Jones the Lady in Purple and Juanita Dandridge is the Lady in Brown. The men are played by Hai Dang, Alfred Pierce and Jibrell Amahd. It’s directed by Dr. Elizabeth Desnoyers-Colas. It’s her directing debut and she’s done a great job.

Why should people see this play?

Tisha Whitaker: If you’ve lived, you can probably relate to this show. If you haven’t been trapped in a cave all your life, you can probably relate to this show.

What: For Colored Girls...Where: Masquers Chinese Theatre, Armstrong CenterWhen: March 27, 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and March 30 at 3 p.m. Cost: $10 at 927-5381.