The African-American Shakespeare Company Presents THE TRIAL OF ONE SHORT-SIGHTED BLACK WOMAN VS. MAMMY LOUISE AND SAFREETA MAE

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The African-American Shakespeare Company Presents THE TRIAL OF ONE SHORT-SIGHTED BLACK WOMAN VS. MAMMY LOUISE AND SAFREETA MAE

The African-American Shakespeare Company glides into the second half of its 2019/2020 season with two plays it has never produced. First up is The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae in March, followed by the Noel Coward classic Private Lives in April.

In some ways, The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae conjures up one another of the company's most successful productions, one that also dealt satirically with the subject matter of what it means to be black and the stereotypes that go with it: 2016's The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe. Actress Clara McDaniel, a veteran of that production protrays the judge in "The Trial."

Here though, it is the images that have come from the worlds of film, television and advertising that go on trial. Specifically those of the jovial, asexual and servile "Mammy" as well as the hyper-sexualized "Safreeta Mae", embodied in the play by the character Victoria Dryer, who has embraced the mantle of a Jezebel in order to move up the corporate ladder at her high-tech job. But this role she has appropriated has left her a woman ignorant of her own people's history and without depth, community or a soul.

"A number of images and icons have historically been a painful embarrassment to the black community for years," says AASC Executive Director Sherri Young, who is also directing The Trial, "but this play examines the validity of those icons and gives them the opportunity to share their own histories and go beyond the jovial Mammy and the over-sexualized Jezebel we see on the surface."

For more information visit african-americanshakes.org.



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