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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Backstage: Behind the Rainbow

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Skies are Grey

And so we Record

Sharecropping 2015

Picture it:

December 8th, 2014/Tilt Studios/Indianapolis,IN

The end of night came fast during last night’s rehearsal. As always, the cast stood in their proverbial end-of-the-night prayer circle, which this time included parents of the children that are in the play, as well as some new extras. During each prayer circle since the inception of our rehearsals, there has been a time allotted for prayer requests or words of encouragement. Looking back, I believe at some point over the last few months, each cast member has spoken up in some way at some point, requesting prayers for themselves and family and/or sharing inspirational thoughts and ideas and bible scriptures that might speak to us all. Even shy girl ‘januarie York’ spoke up once before, asking prayers for strength to combat a hard bout with depression. Immediately after the circle, one of the women took me to the side and talked to me, spiritually, about combating depression. She gave me scriptures to read, prayed over me and spoke to me like a peer; as if she understood the battle and could not stop herself from allowing God to use her to speak to me. That is one of the beautiful things about being cast in this particular play. God has been all over it and all in it. His (or Her) presence has been highlighted and respected with every meeting because it is all due to God that this ordained cast of once strangers has been able to come together and create what is sure to be deserving of a Masterpiece Theater title. And it has not come without trials: There have been sudden deaths, employment changes (I started a second job that limited how often I could attend rehearsal), car accidents, sick cast members and the list goes on. The devil or ‘evil’ or whatever you call that air of negativity that comes around when great things are happening has not overlooked us and if we were not truly ordained, I believe it would have taken us out and killed the play. The stress of life can brutal when you are trying to have fun and be a performer.

During the prayer last night, both mothers of the two children in the play spoke up about how impressed they were the first night they attended rehearsals and saw us praying. One spoke of being ‘church hurt’, and how much of a glorious thing it was to walk into a play rehearsal not knowing what to expect and see a cast in full prayer. We each listened intently to these two women, who at this point, had only been to our practices about two times. One seemed on the verge of tears of joy at the thought of God placing her and her child in this position. The other mother spoke about her son being shy and how this play has brought out a light in him that he is excited for! The circle lasted for at least 20 minutes of hand holding and teary eyes (at least mine…but my eyes always have tears, good or otherwise).

I was in full tears by the time our resident praying woman, Miss Jackie, finished telling God how thankful we were for being brought together and requesting peace and safety over not just our director and his family, but each and every one of us, as well as the uplifting of our spirits from the depths of depression, sadness, struggle, heartbreak, etc. Miss Jackie has a way with words to God. I listen to her and sometimes find myself wondering if I will ever be as good at praying as she is. I believe that in every prayer, both at the beginning and end of rehearsals, she speaks to and for every cast member.

It is of no secret to any one of us that we were brought together for a reason bigger than acting/performing. Whether or not we KNOW what these reasons are is up for each individual, but I assure all that this is not a play to be taken lightly. The subject matter is heavy, the poems are explore depths of the souls of ‘colored girls’ and the acting is sure to bring a different piece of life to each one of these characters that may not have been experienced in the film version of FCG (Tyler Perry). The cast has rehearsed tirelessly since the summer. We have learned from our director, each other, the movie, and the original play, as well as from our own personal walks in life and connection with our characters. Tears have been shed in rehearsal. Some of the men have excused their pride and spoken up, requesting prayer, love, LIGHT and the women have put some of their troubles on the mainline for all to hear. To call it a humbling experience is an understatement of sorts. There exists a familial ambiance between us, even for those who say little (like myself). It’s hard to believe that it’s almost over, although I am hopeful that we get to work together again. In sharing our vulnerabilities with each other, I believe this has helped everyone become more tightly wound to not only their character, but the entire production.

This is being taken seriously by each cast member.

Our director is not one for games. He has produced several plays in the Indianapolis area (Kiladelphia & He Beats Me Because He Loves Me), as well as in L.A. & Philadelphia. His goals and dreams are centered on theater which means he will not cast people who are not serious about their craft and he will not let his cast bring anything less than the closest thing to perfection, even during rehearsals. His next project after this will be a stage play of “Do the Right Thing”.

As you can see, this is not a game.

We are bringing life to the theater.

We are bringing our hearts, our triumphs and our fallings.

We are giving the best of us and pouring it into each one of these characters.

I encourage you to see this play. It is worth it in so many more ways than I can name in this one blog. This play is for YOU. It is for your FRIENDS. Your sisters. Your Brothers. Your nieces, cousins, nephews and parents. This play is for your STRUGGLES.

This play is for all of us “who have considered suicide, when the rainbow is enuf.”

And we hope to see you there. Tickets on sale now!

This Friday, December 12 is opening night for Antwan Demarco’s (Demarco Plays) stage play of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf”. It will be showing at Tilt Studios, downtown at the Circle Centre Mall (4th Floor in the gaming area). There are six limited seating shows: Friday @7:30pm, Saturday, December 13th @2pm & 7:30pm & then again the following weekend, Friday, December 19th @7:30pm and Saturday, December 20th @ 2pm & 7:30pm. The two Saturday Matinee shows (2p) are $20 and all other showings are $25.

~januarie

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