FANCY MAIDS Returns For Rave Theater Festival

FANCY MAIDS Returns For Rave Theater Festival

The Rose Grew Here is proud to announce that Fancy Maids, the award-winning play by Harold Hodge Jr, will make a return to the stage this August as a part of The Rave Theater Festival. The festival is helmed by Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Ken Davenport, who will serve as artistic director.

Set in 1853, the play revolves around the treatment of Black Women in America. "This show touches on the issues of both racial and gender oppression," said the show's star, Madeline Grey Defreece. "As black women, we are constantly overlooked when people see gender inequality and racial inequality as separate issues. This show speaks to both issues in a way I haven't seen."

Fancy Maids follows Idabelle, who after narrowly escaping the horrors of slavery, arrives to the North only to discover the Fugitive Slave Act has made it impossible for her to find honest work. With no other choice, she joins the women of Pinky's Pleasure House where she is confronted by a wealthy Southern-planter who finds the women-run business disturbing. After an intense altercation in the privacy of her room, Idabelle and the women are faced with a life-or-death dilemma that tests their morality and questions the value of revenge.

"The conversation based around the MeToo Movement brought me back to one of the darkest chapters of American History, slavery," said playwright, Harold Hodge Jr. "At that time a Black Woman's body, according to the law, belonged to someone else. Women under the bonds of slavery had no say in the cruelties wreaked upon their bodies, sexual or otherwise. However, Fancy Maids is not a narrative set in the Antebellum South. We have seen the plantation story a thousand times, I knew I did not want to tell that story."

"There are many (many) stories of Black American slavery," added Kayland Jordan, who stars as the Bible-thumping and foul mouthed Louella, "Most of these stories revolve around complacency which is not accurate to history nor human behavior. Fancy Maids is all about how these women, in all their individual glory, navigate the chaos thrown at them. This play pays respect to the ancestors of Black Americans."

The performance schedule is as follows:

  • August 9th @ 9:15 PM
  • August 11th @ 3:15 PM
  • August 14th @ 9:15 PM
  • August 17th @ 6:45 PM
  • August 24th @ 7:00 PM

Performances will be at Teatro SEA Theater, at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, located at 107 Suffolk Street, in Manhattan.

This production stars Madeline Grey Defreece, Paige Madkins, Kayland Jordan, and Chinara Stroman as its leads, with Isaac J. Conner, Reed Pike, Essence Brown, and David Polgar completing the cast.

"Fancy Maids has really been such a powerful force in my life as a performer," said Stroman, who stars as the jaded Queenie, "It's a story about strength, resiliency, and womanhood. There's humor, wit, and a bond that we as the actors have gotten to create through these characters."

"It is important for people to see this show because it is unapologetically sincere about the world of the oppressed and the extremely low options they have to survive," added Madkins, who plays the stern madame, Pinky.

Tickets are $25 for general admission and can be purchased online;

For more information, check out the show's site:

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