Theater to close out ‘For Colored Girls’

Posted: April 3, 2013 in The Philadelphia Tribune

Director Zhuairah McGill and cast members called the Meeting House Theater home for three consecutive weekends with performance of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”

For Colored Girls will be performed in the Meeting House Theater located 3500 Lancaster Ave. Performances will run Friday through Sunday, with a final show on Sunday, April 7.

“I wanted to honor women in their triumphs in failures and to let them know that no matter what you go through in life, you can withstand it,” McGill said.  

After seeing the movie in 2010, McGill wanted to present For Colored Girls on stage – in the format it was originally intended to be performed.

“The struggles in For Colored Girls are as relevant today for young women as they were when this play hit the stage.” McGill realized through her daughter’s friends that most women 35 and under only experienced the play in the movie theatre.

“They lacked an understanding of the history and impact this work that has had on audiences for decades and I felt compelled to bring light to the transformative and transcending power this play has,” she said. “When you see this play up close and personal, it is a different experience. There are no cover-ups or retakes. It just is.”

According to McGill this play is an African-American classic and landmark in American theatre because it “illuminates the tales of women in all the shades of life’s experiences.

A powerful ensemble cast bears the passion, drama, comedy and pain that paint the visions, confessions and revelations of these women known only by the various colors of the rainbow.

“Though Shange at times reveals some ugly truths about abuse, relationships, and domestic violence, she does not allow the darkness to go unchallenged,” McGill said. “Instead she gifts us through poetry and dance, reminding us that women bear a complicated love and invites you to transform, cross the rainbow and experience the light that exists on the other side.”

For many viewers, the play was an emotional journey.

“I laughed and cried,” said Marcia Logan. “I was so moved that words seem so inadequate to express the greatness of this show. The last song and those words moved me to sob like a baby.”

This production is a partnership with West Philadelphia’s Community Education Center and First World Theatre Ensemble. The CEC was founded by local community members to promote shared experiences and nurture fellowship among its varied neighborhoods across cultural and economic differences.

Through selected classic and original works, First World leverages theatre as a powerful platform for social change and nurtures public conversations around critically important social issues that impact all of lives. For more information on current and upcoming performances, visit


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