“Teach a woman to fish and everyone eats for a lifetime” says an old axiom. Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre is honoring women’s ability to feed our intellect and our souls in their upcoming season.
The company’s 2019-20 season will consist of works by black women playwrights in a program they’re calling “She Griots.”
“The griot holds our stories in an oral tradition,” artistic director Jamil Jude tells “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes, “our stories were kept by our sacred griots. With this current season, we are focusing on the women who are doing that currently for us.”
The season opens in September with Dominique Morisseau’s “Paradise Blue,” and continues with “School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play” by Jocelyn Bioh and “Marie & Rosetta” by George Brant, about the influential blues singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
In addition to producing only works by African American women, Jude says that the creative teams, directors, and actors for these productions will be majority, if not all-black teams.
“We’re really excited by that because that’s not something that we always get to see across the national theatre landscape, but also here in Atlanta,” he says. “That’s a shame, but we’re working on trying to correct that.”
Before the “She Griots” season opens, True Colors is hosting their Spring Play Reading Series centered around the idea of the griot. The reading series, taking place at venues around town, features plays by established and emerging, local writers, as well as a reading of August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” in honor of the playwright’s birth anniversary.