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Alice Childress' Play TROUBLE IN MIND is Now Playing in Winchester

Performances run through November 20.

Alice Childress' Play TROUBLE IN MIND is Now Playing in Winchester

In Partnership with the Winchester Area NAACP, Selah Theatre Project presents TROUBLE IN MIND, a backstage comedy-drama, about a group of actors in the late 1950s gathering to rehearse a new Broadway play about lynching in the American South. Although the intentions of the new play are for audiences to sympathize with the Black experience, Wiletta Mayer has some issues with the interpretation of stereotypes perpetuated by a white playwright.

Under the direction of LaTasha Do'zia, Alice Childress' TROUBLE IN MIND comes to Winchester challenging audiences on the topics of the importance of representation in American theatre, objectionable acceptance of stereotypes, and racism. The cast features Will Speakman (Doubt), Jacob Pugh, Kurt Hoffman (The Fall of Heaven), Jon Conard (Fences), Sarah Downs, Jasper Alex (The Laramie Project), Eric Lee Santiful (The Fall of Heaven), Jacob Reed (Terms of Endearment), and Joanne Thompson ('Night Mother)in the leading role of Wiletta Mayer.

"It is an important play. We are still dealing with issues of sexism and racism, particularly in the theatre world, today", says Joanne Thompson. "Wiletta is a very dignified, calm woman, that reaches a point of having enough. Wiletta is a strong advocate to stand for what you believe is true. She makes the absolute correct choice for herself instead of going along to get along", exclaims Thompson.

Following an experienced Black stage actress through rehearsals of a major Broadway production, Alice Childress' wry and moving look at racism, identity, and ego in the world of American theatre opened to acclaim off-Broadway in 1955. At the forefront of both the Civil Rights and feminist movements, the prescient TROUBLE IN MIND was announced to move to Broadway in 1957...in a production that never came to be until 2019. In a case of life imitating art, white producers insisted that Childress provide a more upbeat ending. Childress refused.

Even through the disappointment of being denied the world of Broadway, Childress became the first professionally produced Black woman playwright, and the first Black woman to win an Obie Award for Best Original Play in 1956.



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