Monday, September 6, 2010

Sheila's Day -- Hartford Stage

Archive Review:

In Sheila‘s Day, written by Duma Ndlovu and co-created with Mbongeni Ngema with additional material by Ebony Jo-Ann, A strong vocal ensemble sings, drums, dances and tells the stories of "Sheilas," domestic workers in the US South and in South Africa during the 1960s, This play about their struggles during the turbulent civil rights activitie sat the time opens the season for Hartford Stage at Kingswood Oxford, where the theater has moved until renovations at the Hartford location are finished this fall. The cast features Ruby Lee (Ann Duquesnay) and Qedusizi (Thuli Dumakude). Ruby Lee comically finds herself at key Civil Rights events in the South while Qedusizi is jailed, then works illegally for a white woman she hopes will help her. Their story explores not only the positive side of the quest for civil rights in both countries, but how some blacks didn’t always embrace the movements.

Director Ricardo Khan breaks the fourth wall by having the women enter the house from time to time and interact with the audience. This production, presented in collaboration with Crossroads Theatre Company and the CT Theater Festival, is a stirring tribute to perseverance, determination and the sisterhood of women. Other cast members: : Natalie Venetia Belcon (Annelen), Carla Brothers (Carla), Ashley Bryant (Stephanie), Erin Cherry (Valerie), Thuli Dumakude (Qedusiz), Anna Duquesne (Ruby Lee), Chantal Jean-Pierre (Torres), Taifa Harris (Breedlove), Julia Lema (Irene), Tu Nokwe (Tu). Running time is 90 minutes without intermission and performances (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday) at 7:30 and weekends (Friday and Saturday) at 8., Sundays and selected Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 pm cntinue through August 15th.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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