Sunday, September 19, 2010

Choreopoem

I finished reading the book adaptation of Ntozake Shange's 1975 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf today. The 20 poem "choreopoem" is performed by seven women; the women are only depicted as colors such as Lady in Blue, not by names. I found the use of colors juxtapose to the darkness of the stage and dark times the women encounter in their indvidual lives, ingenious. How disheartening for the characters to be together on stage but so alone in their own worlds. It is as if each woman cuts her internal being open and the loss, sorrow, pain, and unrequited love spills onto the stage. One of the quotes that struck me the most from the play was: "Bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven't conquered yet." Such turmoil and sadness; but the end of the play depicts a sense of discovery and renewal for each woman. 

I had started reading a few weeks back, but when I saw the talented cast of women for Tyler Perry's upcoming theatrical film version, upon reading, I saw these actresses in my mind for their respective characters. However, many of the quotes I've seen in the theatrical trailer are not delivered by the same characters in the play/book. I suppose that will happen often in the film. Nonetheless, the deep, raw emotions and dialogue depicted are heart wrenching no matter who is communicating them. I think Shange's play is superb and I look forward to seeing Perry's "For Colored Girls" film. I will be interested in hearing or reading Shange's thoughts and feelings on the film.