If you've ever been to an African-American-themed talent show or beauty pageant, I guarantee you've seen at least one performance of a "choreopoem" from the acclaimed play For colored girls who have considered suicide/When the rainbow is enuf. In my own lifetime, I have actually never seen a full-length production of the play from start to finish, unless you count Tyler Perry's feature film. So, you can imagine how excited I was to learn about the upcoming production of For Colored Girls featuring an entirely plus-size cast! This set of performances, which will take place from November 19-22, 2015 at the Anacostia Arts Center (1231 Good Hope Road SE, Washington DC, 20020), was the brainchild of actress and author, Cynthia L. Dorsey. Ms. Dorsey, who is also directing the show, was kind enough to spare a few moments to chat with us here at Curvy CEO about the upcoming production!
What motivated you to create a "curvy edition" of the heralded play, "For Colored Girls"? I decided to do a curvy girls edition of For Colored Girls because I wanted to a create an opportunity for the curvy and plus size Black actress to share her gift with the world without having to face type casting or not having a chance to be cast at all.
How long has this been a goal of yours? I've always wanted to direct “For Colored Girls” since high school. Having been a plus size actress myself, going back forth between DC, New York, and Chicago auditioning and trying to get cast I am well aware of how difficult it is. It is also extremely discouraging when your talent is overlooked because of your size. So directing and producing “For Colored Girls--The Curvy Girls Edition” is my way of showing the world that talent, gift, and purpose should always be the focus and size is the accentuation.
Besides the plus-size cast, what other things distinguish this production from others we may have seen of this play? Ntozake Shange, the author of For Colored Girls, created this iconic piece to confront the daily issues women of color face from rape and abortion to heartache and abuse. It has been my goal to stay as true and authentic Shange's work as I can. So I haven't made many changes to her body of work. However, it wouldn't be called a Curvy Girls Edition without an added twist. Without giving way what we are adding to show I will say that the cast will also be confronting body image.
What is one thing you would say to anyone on the fence about attends the play? Lots of people think this play is a male bashing play and that men shouldn't come. Lots of people feel this is a play for only people of color. I want to encourage everyone, people of every race, sexuality, religious belief, and gender to come and see “For Colored Girls.” I am a strong believer that theater has the power to heal nations and bridge the racial, generational, sexual, religious, and gender divide in our society. Take the first step by coming to see SoulFLY's production of “For Colored Girls--The Curvy Girls Edition” and sharing in this journey of womanhood together.
I am soooo excited to attending the upcoming performances. Will I see you there? Snag your tickets here!