Volume 90, Issue 73

Tuesday, February 4, 1997



Colours of rainbow show shades of life

Andria Kury/Gazette
GAZING OUT IN AN ARRAY OF COLOUR. The fine actors amidst a scene during for colored girls..., which runs in the Drama Workshop in University College.

for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enufAt Drama Workshop, Rm. 224, University College
Feb. 4-8

The play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf, is more than just a long title.

Amazingly, the title itself embodies the essence of the play. The lower-case letters signify the resistance against patriarchal conventions in order for the author, Ntozake Shange and the seven female characters, to create their own voice. The rainbow provides a colour for each of the women. And each colour symbolizes the emotions and expressions of that character.

The lack of names and particulars in the production is what gives colored girls its universality and allows the audience to identify with any and all aspects of the play.

The genre strays from convention. The play is not classified as a musical or comedy but rather a lyrical choreopoem. The script is poetry strung together with music and dance. The director, Becca Waese, changed little from the original text but added more dance combinations and bongo music.

The seven women involved in the production all capture the sensitivity and energy of the characters they play. Not one actor outshines the other. From the isolated and raped Lady Blue (Leah Stephenson) to the seductive, yet timid, poetess Lady Orange, (Lil Poljasevic) the characters complement each other onstage. Each story is different – Lady Yellow (Euridiky Tera) speaks about losing her virginity, Lady Red (Kathryn Charley) is an angry, passionate woman trying to come to terms with her experiences.

Each character has lost something in life and the play follows their journey towards finding love within themselves and each other.

The set and costumes are simple with the colours of the rainbow setting the stage for a wonderful script. This simplicity allows the text and cast, rather than an elaborate setup, to be the highlight of the show. The beauty of the play is definitely found within the words themselves.

Music and dance are also showcased in colored girls. The interplay between music, dance and poetry creates an animated, explosive energy the audience feels within minutes of watching the performance.

The barrier between the audience and the production is erased through the vitality of the actors. The audience feels the pain of the rape victim, the lack of respect and dignity and the movement towards self-recovery of the other characters. Waese deserves recognition for her ability to create such a moving rendition of the play, but with an insightful script such as colored girls, it is hard not to get into the minds of these incredible women.

In this day and age where computers and science make everything available with the flick of a switch, the decline of the arts seems inevitable. But as powerful as computers have become, none could provide the intense emotional experience someone can receive from watching a human triumph like colored girls.

–Carey Franklin

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997