ATLANTA: Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company has announced its 2019-20 season, titled “She Griots,” inspired by West African storytelling traditions.
“In dedicating this season to these griots—these Black women—we seek to respond to a gap in the American theatre where women are woefully underrepresented, with Black women making up an even smaller percentage,” said artistic director Jamil Jude in a statement. “We are choosing to honor the work of the ‘sheroes’ in our community and the artists who have shouted our songs and shared our stories to edify the world. We hope to shine the light on several designers, directors, musicians, actors, and creatives whose work is often overlooked as a means of active resistance to the idea that these artists don’t exist. We believe that this season’s offerings further our vision: to be a theatre that thrives at the nexus of artistic excellence and civic engagement.”
The season will open with Paradise Blue (Sept. 24-Oct. 20), by Dominique Morisseau, about a gifted trumpeter considering whether to sell his family’s jazz club in Detroit amid a changing neighborhood. Jude will direct.
Next up will be Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play (Feb. 11-March 8, 2020), about a new student who disrupts the social hierarchy at an exclusive boarding school in Ghana. Tinashe Kajese-Bolden will direct.
Following will be Marie & Rosetta (June 16-July 12, 2020), by George Brant, about gospel singers Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight, and their musical partnership.
True Colors Theatre Company, founded in 2002, focuses on African American plays and reinterpreting classic and new works through a Black lens.