for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enough by Ntozake Shange (2013)

Copyrighted Work

I was introduced to Ntozake Shange’s work in 1987 by Janet Young when she cast me as Woman in Brown for her Tamaduni Players production which we performed at Braeburn Theatre in Nairobi, Kenya.

The following year, James Falkland invited us to perform the same play at his Phoenix Players Theatre. I played Woman in Red.

Twenty-six years,  in 2013, I was celebrating my work as an actor and added this still-relevant piece to my retrospective and directed a stellar cast to rave reviews and sold-out performances at Phoenix Players and the Michael Joseph Centre.

H.E. The First Lady Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta booked out the theatre on one of the nights (what a lot of fun that was).

The piece is a series of 20 separate poems choreographed to music that weaves interconnected stories of love, empowerment, struggle and loss into a complex representation of sisterhood.

The cast consists of seven nameless African-American women only identified by the colors they are assigned. They are the lady in red, lady in orange, lady in yellow, lady in green, lady in blue, lady in brown, and lady in purple. Subjects from rape, abandonment, abortion and domestic violence are tackled. [Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Colored_Girls_Who_Have_Considered_Suicide_/_When_the_Rainbow_Is_Enuf]

The 2013 cast included Muthoni Hunja (Brown), Mkamzee Chao Mwatela (Yellow), Mo Pearson (Blue), Mũmbi Kaigwa (Red), Hana Kefela (Orange), Njeri Ngũgĩ (Purple), Kawira Thambu (Green), and Eudiah Kamonjo (Purple’s Understudy).

Apart from the recorded 1970s music that forms part of the show, live music was provided by Ricky Matthews Githinji, Sam Guchu Ngũgĩ, and Ngare Mukiria.

Click below for a news clip by the news channel, CNBC Africa:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EATlezrpH8&t=11s

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