Tanisha Pyron directs play at Doudna

Hannah Sieg, Contributing Writer

The Eastern Theatre Arts Department put on performances of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” at The Theatre in Doudna last weekend.

“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” is a dark play about girls who have gone through horrible or very difficult things in life, such as rape, abortion, cheating and abuse.

Auditions were held back in January and rehearsals began shortly after. The cast has been rehearsing 20-25 hours each week.

Guest director Tanisha Pyron said she has directed this play before.

“I loved directing this show,” Pyron said. “Every time I do this show I fall in love with it.”

The women knew they had been cast in the play, but they were not sure which characters they would be playing until the first week of rehearsal, Pyron said.

“I really derive the piece on the talent that shows up,” Pyron said. “This was a talented group of women that was eager to do the work.”

Each of the actors played a woman dressed in a color of the rainbow. They would rotate telling their character’s stories through poems.

Pyron allowed a session after the play was over where the actors could answer the audience’s questions.

Sabrina Turner, a junior family and consumer sciences major, played the Woman in Yellow. She said the actors had an opportunity to speak out for those that have not had voices.

“All of the pieces in this play were relatable,” Turner said. “We found a person we were speaking for and we got to be that voice.”

Having such serious topics addressed throughout the play seemed to be a struggle for some of the actors.

Simone Reynolds, a junior majoring in theatre arts, played the Woman in Red. Reynolds said she had to really put herself in the character’s shoes when performing.

“I’ve never been through these situations before, but I had to say, ‘if it was me,’” Reynolds said. “I’ve read this play for a class before and I understood it more when bringing it to life.”

Pyron said she could tell some of the actors struggled with the topics as well.

“I think it was a challenge getting my actors to be comfortable with the subversive elements of the show,” Pyron said. “There’s a sort of tenderness and vulnerability needed to convey the realness of these moments.”

Senior communications major Deja Dade played the Woman in Green. She said the characters’ struggles illustrate real world problems.

“I take lessons from these stories and hold them on my back,” Dade said.

Throughout the play, the audience would react to relatable lines and poems by snapping or cheering.

Pyron said she hopes the play will make people think and start conversations about racial and gender equality.

“I hope the audience will be inspired around diversity and inclusion,” Pyron said. “They’ll be appreciative of having a voice in the sort of ways that women have been marginalized, and also specifically women of color, over many years throughout history. This is the first moment where we’ve had a sort of honest discourse, not just on the stage but around it.”

Hannah Sieg can be reached at 581-2812or at [email protected].