Underscoring the tragedy of rape, abortion, and domestic violence, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf” serendipitously begins at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center as Domestic Violence Awareness month ends. Continuing the conversation beyond October will hopefully create a sense of urgency to keep people involved and talking.
Through 20 poems and 7 characters’ choreography, the all-black female cast will take audiences through these women’s (whom we only know by the color of their attire) tumultuous journeys Oct. 31 through Nov. 3.
Director, Jacqueline Thompson, who is also an assistant professor of theatre arts at UMSL, said she selected this piece because “it demands actors to be open and vulnerable and allows them to tap into their own lives and tell their own stories.”
With the goal of empowering young women, and hopes to inspire them to learn the signs of abuse, the Department of Theatre, Dance and Media Studies will invite complimentary, selected high school teens and college-aged women, along with domestic violence advocates. Bonita Washington, a local mental health professional, vehemently commented, “Abuse can happen to anyone, but young women in particular don’t know what a healthy adult relationship is, and many people don’t recognize the signs, don’t know that most incidents go unreported, or that there are places to go for help.”
Thompson hopes that the audience, in general, will walk away reflecting on their will to persevere through hardships, and that the women in the audience will leave empowered by the strength and resilience of their nature.