Cast Announced For Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre's FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/ WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF

The landmark play will play Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre Saturdays and Sundays from July 20 – August 4.

By: Jun. 07, 2024
Cast Announced For Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre's FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/ WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF
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Tim Rhoze, Artistic Director of Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, has announced casting for the company's July production of Ntozake Shange's FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, which Rhoze will direct.

This performance piece - described by Shange as a “choreopoem” – is a group of 20 poems on the power of Black women to survive in the face of despair and pain, accompanied by dance and music. It weaves interconnected stories of love, empowerment, struggle and loss into a complex representation of sisterhood, addressing subjects including rape, abandonment, abortion and domestic violence.

Rhoze has assembled a stellar cast of seven performers with credits in drama and musical theater from throughout Chicago and the Midwest, who play the piece's nameless African American women only identified by the colors they are assigned. Jazzma Pryor (Lady in Red) has been seen at Fleetwood-Jourdain performing the solo show TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES 1992, as well as in THE LIGHT, SUNSET BABY, and FROM THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA. She is an ensemble member of Shattered Globe Theatre, where she has performed in many roles. Tuesdai B. Perry (Lady in Blue) also returns to FJT, where she performed in HOME and OBAMA-OLOGY. She was recently in THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE with Metropolis Theater Center and has numerous Chicago musical theater credits. Jenise Sheppard (Lady in Yellow) has Chicago credits including RUINED (Invictus Theatre), A RAISIN IN THE SUN (Beverly Arts Center), and FROM THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA (Lifeline Theater Company).

Angelena Browne (Lady in Purple), a student at Northwestern University, is originally from New Jersey, where she appeared as Lena in CITY KID: THE MUSICAL at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Ashti René Funches (Woman in Yellow) has appeared in IS GOD IS (A Red Orchid) and NATIVE SON (Lifeline). Candice Jeanine (Lady in Green), a native of East St. Louis now living in Chicago, has St. Louis credits including SARAFINA!, A SONG FOR CORETTA, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, THE PIANO LESSON (St. Louis Black Rep), and TWELFTH NIGHT (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis). In Chicago, she has appeared in REPAIRING A NATION (eta Creative Arts). Nehanda Julot (Lady in Brown) is a theatre performer, playwright and producer, whose play 3 SISTERS FORCED TO FACE THE SKY was performed this month in FJT's GLORIA BOND CLUNIE PLAYWRIGHT'S FESTIVAL.

The production team includes Marsae Lynette Mitchell (Choreographer), Shane Rogers (Set Designer), Rick Sims (Sound Designer), Kate Parker Barrows (Costume Designer), Levi Wilkins (Lighting Designer), Sam Onche (Muralist), Bria Walker-Rhoze (Artistic Associate), and Rich Oliver (Stage Manager).
 
FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF ran for seven months Off-Broadway in New York City in 1976 before beginning a two-year on Broadway run from 1976 to 1978. It was subsequently produced throughout the United States, broadcast on television, and in 2010 adapted into a feature film titled FOR COLORED GIRLS. The stage version was revived on Broadway in 2022. FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF will play Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre Saturdays and Sundays from July 20 – August 4. The press opening will be Sunday, July 21 at 3 pm.
 
Performances will be Saturdays at 7:00 pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm, at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. Tickets for all productions are $32.00 and are on sale now at www.fjtheatre.com. Additionally, 2024 Premium Gold Member Cards, good for all three 2024 summer and fall play productions and A MOODY EXPERIENCE: MUSIC BEYOND THE MARGINS, are now on sale for a very limited time for only $90 - a nearly 30 percent discount off of the regular season ticket prices.

FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF

By Ntozake Shange
Directed by Tim Rhoze
Choreography by Marsae Lynette Mitchell 

July 20 – August 4, 2024
Saturdays at 7 pm, Sundays at 3 pm
Press opening Sunday, July 21 at 3 pm
Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center
927 Noyes St., Evanston

Tickets $32.00, on sale now at www.fjtheatre.com
Phone 847-866-5914

Filled with passion, humor, and raw honesty, legendary playwright/poet Ntozake Shange's form-changing choreopoem tells the stories of seven women of color using poetry, song, and movement. It speaks to our world today about women's struggles, strengths, desires, resilience, and the sanctified magic of love and possibility.

The cast features Angelena Browne, Ashti René Funches, Candice Jeanine, Nehanda Julot, Tuesdai B. Perry, Jazzma Pryor, and Jenise Sheppard.

About the Artists

Ntozake Shange (writer, FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF). Ntozake Shange (1948-2018) was an American author of plays, poetry, and fiction noted for their feminist themes and racial and sexual anger. In addition to FOR COLORED GIRLS, Shange created a number of other theatre works that employed poetry, dance, and music (known as “choreopoems”) while abandoning conventions of plot and character development. One of the most popular of these was her 1980 adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's MOTHER COURAGE, featuring a Black family in the time of the American Civil War. Some of Shange's other works for the stage are WHERE THE MISSISSIPPI MEETS THE AMAZON (1977), THREE VIEWS OF MT. FUJI (1987), and THE LOVE SPACE DEMANDS: A CONTINUING SAGA (1992).

Shange's poetry collections included NAPPY EDGES (1978) and RIDIN' THE MOON IN TEXAS (1987). She also published the novels SASSAFRASS, CYPRESS & INDIGO (1982), about the diverging lives of three sisters and their mother; the semiautobiographical BETSEY BROWN (1985); and LILIANE: RESURRECTION OF THE DAUGHTER (1994), a coming-of-age story about a wealthy Black woman in the American South. In addition, Shange wrote a number of children's books, including WHITEWASH (1997), DADDY SAYS (2003), and ELLINGTON WAS NOT A STREET (2004).

TIM RHOZE (Artistic Director, Director) Tim Rhoze has been the Producing Artistic Director of Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre since 2010. His directing credits include: THIS BITTER EARTH, THE BALDWIN | GIOVANNI EXPERIENCE, THE LIGHT, AMERICAN SON, HOME, TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES 1992, THE MEETING, FIRES IN THE MIRROR, BLACK BALLERINA (co-writer),  NUTCRACKER(ISH), CROWNS, HAVING OUR SAY, FROM THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA, FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, WOZA ALBERT!, GOING TO ST. IVES, SINGLE BLACK FEMALE, A SONG FOR CORETTA, YELLOWMAN, SWEET, LADY DAY AT EMERSON BAR & GRILL, BEAR COUNTRY, NOBODY, FENCES, PIANO LESSON, AIN'T MISBEHAVIN, K2, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, et. al. Tim is also the writer/director of WHY NOT ME? A SAMMY DAVIS JR. STORY, and MAYA'S LAST POEM, both produced at FJT; and BLACK BALLERINA, produced at FJT and Pittsburgh Public Theatre. He was co-writer and director of A HOME ON THE LAKE, co-produced with the Piven Theatre Workshop.

ABOUT FLEETWOOD-JOURDAIN THEATRE

Founded in 1979, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre is a professional, award-winning theatre company that has been thrilling audiences with over four decades of unique, inspirational, and invigorating African American and African Diaspora-centered storytelling. The company has been honored in the Black Theatre Alliance/Ira Aldridge Awards. From original plays to the best of Broadway, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre has remained committed to supplying the very best in theatre. "Umoja!! ….Working Together in Unity" is the foundation from which FJT began and continues to thrive!




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