Women Lead the Way for HAVING OUR SAY

As far as we know, this is the first time that Long Wharf has an all female cast, design, and production team. How did you choose the team for Having Our Say?

Jade King Carroll All of the designers are designers I worked with about two years ago at Two Rivers on Trouble In Mind. It’s a great team. I’ve worked with all of the designers quite a few times. Karen Perry, I’ve known for a decade, and I can’t count how many shows we’ve done together. I can’t even count how many shows we’ve done together. She’s our costume designer, and she’s wonderful. Nicole Pearce does a lot of dance and did A Raising in the Sun and King Hedley II with me. I’m using my father’s original music. Alexis Distler is a scenic designer who I just adore working with, and again, I can’t count how many show we’ve done together. What’s also wonderful is that the play was written by Emily Mann who is my mentor and also a female playwright and artistic leader. And both the actresses are female. So I kind of looked at the list and said, “Oh, we have an all female team!” but really it wasn’t my intention to have an all female team, but I just picked the people that I thought were best to tell this story and that I really enjoyed collaborating with and that worked well together. It’s my A Team, and they just happen to all be ladies.

THE HAVING OUR SAY TEAM

Director: Jade King Carroll
Adapted by: Emily Mann
From the Book by: Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth
Director: Jade King Carroll
Miss Sadie Delany: Olivia Cole
Dr. Bessie Delany: Brenda Pressley
Set & Projection Design: Alexis Distler
Costume Design: Karen Perry
Lighting Design: Nicole Pearce
Sound Design: Karin Graybash
Wig Design: Carol “CiCi” Campbell
Production Stage Manager: Denise Cardarelli
Assistant Stage Manager: Amy Patricia Stern

 

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How Emily Mann Inspired Jade King Carroll


LWT: Can you talk more about the relationship that you have with playwright Emily Mann?

Jade King Carroll: I have a show running at her theatre right now. (The Piano Lesson.) I can’t remember meeting her. My father collaborated with her on a musical called Betsy Brown during the first decade of my life. I fell in love with the theatre watching that musical be developed, watching Emily Mann direct. George Faison choreographed. Joe Papp was at the helm of it; he was huge in developing it. I didn’t realize as a child what luminaries I was watching. I was just going to work with my father. But I fell in love with what I saw Emily directing, and it just inspired me. And then I saw a production of The Glass Menagerie (that she directed) during her first season as Artistic Director at McCarter, just as an audience member. And I remember thinking, “Wow, you can do it with just words.” I had been raised on the musical and around music. I fell in love with Tennessee Williams, and at the ripe old age of eleven, I said, “This is what I want to do. I want to direct.” And Emily has been absolutely amazing in keeping the door open and mentoring me since then. I was a directing intern at McCarter, and a decade later I just had my directing premiere there. I was her associate director on A Streetcar Named Desire. She’s always had an honest conversation with me and been completely inspiring. I’m very lucky to have her as a mentor. And to be working on this play that twenty years ago was my first Broadway opening. It’s a very special moment in time.

LWT: Has she had any advice for you coming into this process?

JKC: She’s had so much advice for me my whole life. We’ve talked about (this play.) She’ll be stopping into a few rehearsals. We were texting this morning. She’s very excited.

LWT: What do you admire about her writing?

JKC: You know, I think the way Emily writes is she really captures characters. She writes all kinds of plays, but she’s known for what people call “testimonial theater.” Emily made Amy Hearth’s book into a play, but you never hear Emily’s voice in it, which I think is wonderful. What she does as a playwright is capture the characters’ voices. So she’s almost invisible. It’s really Bessie and Sadie talking to each other. I think that’s what makes the play special. It’s these two women welcoming you into their house and inviting you into their history and their lives. It’s really their voices.

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Jade King Carroll’s Special Connection to HAVING OUR SAY

You have a particularly personal connection Having Our Say. What can you tell us about your history with this play?
My father wrote the original music to the original production at the McCarter Theatre as well as when it transferred to Broadway. So I was able to be with him during tech week during some of the Broadway run. I was 14 so that was my first time observing a Broadway tech, and of course I was in the house as he was writing the music in the months prior to the McCarter run. So it’s a play that has been near and dear to my heart for a long time. Sadie Delany and I have the same birthday. And I got to meet both of the Delany sisters and of course watch Gloria Foster and Mary Alice in those roles.

I remember being 13 or 14 and knowing what a special moment in time it was and having one of their (the Delany sisters’) hands in each of mine and looking at Emily and I remember that moment in time, knowing how special it all was. So twenty years later to be able to tell this story with people like Brenda Pressley, who’s one of my favorite actresses to work with, and I’m so excited to be working with Olivia Cole and at Long Wharf and Hartford Stage: being able to share this story with so many people has been twenty years in the making of a dream. So here we go!

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A Timeline of the Delany Sisters’ Lives

delany sister timeline header image

1889sadie at two

Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany is born on September 18th.
Benjamin Harrison is the 23rd President of the United States. It has been 24 years since the end of the Civil War. There are 42 states in the Union.

1891Bessie Delany, around one year old, 1892

Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany is born on September 3rd.
Streetcars in the South are segregated for the first time. There are 112 recorded lynchings.

1896

Sadie is 7. Bessie is 5.Delany family around 1898 -- Sadie is standing at left
Plessy v. Ferguson: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that “separate but equal” public accommodations are legal, paving the way for Jim Crow laws.

1900

Sadie is 11. Bessie is 9.
W.E.B. DuBois proclaims “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery is published. James Weldon Johnson writes “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

1903

The first powered airplane is flown by the Wright brothers. Ford Motor Company is founded.

1910

Sadie is 21. Bessie is 19.
Halley’s Comet makes its first 20th century appearance. The NAACP is incorporated. Three quarters of the population of New York City consists of first- and second-generation immigrants.

1912

Sadie is 23. Bessie is 21.
Woodrow Wilson is elected president. Federal employee facilities are segregated; New York City theaters are desegregated. The Titanic sinks on its maiden voyage.

1917

Bessie (26) follows Sadie (28) to Harlem.
The U.S. enters World War I Marcus Garvey emerges as a strong voice for black nationalism.

1918Bessie, left, with our sister, Julia, and a friend of Sadies, Rayford Lightner, about 1919

Sadie (29) graduates from Pratt Institute and continues her education at Columbia University.
World War I ends on November 18th

1920

sadie graduation gown

Sadie (31) graduates from Columbia Teachers College and takes a teaching job in Harlem.
American women win the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment.

1922

 Sadie is 33. Bessie is 31.
The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in a segregated ceremony.

1923

Bessie (32) graduates from Columbia Dental School.Bessies yearbook photograph, Columbia University, 1923
Garret Morgan, the African-American inventor, receves a patent for the automatic traffic light.

1925

Sadie (36) finishes her Master’s Degree in Education at Columbia. Bessie (34) opens her dental practice.
The “Scopes Monkey Trial” ends in the conviction of John Scopes for teaching evolution in public schools.

1929

Sadie is 40. Bessie is 38.
The 22-year-old Cab Calloway performs at the Cotton Club. The stock market crashes.

1930

Sadie (41) becomes the first black teacher of domestic science in New York City public schools.

1936

Rise of Nazism in Europe. Jesse Owens wins four gold medals in the Olympics; Adolf Hitler refuses to shake his hand.

1939

Sadie is 50. Bessie is 48.
War breaks out in Europe. Marian Anderson sings before 75,000 at the Lincoln Memorial after being denied permission by the Daughters of the American Revolution to perform in Constitution Hall. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigns from the DAR.

1941

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. declares war on Japan.

1945

Sadie (56) and Bessie (54) move to Bessie, Mama, and Sadie around World War IIthe Bronx.
Harry Truman becomes president. Colonel Bejamin P. Davis, Jr. becomes the first African-American to command a U.S. Air Force base. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are bombed by the U.S.

1950

Bessie (59) retires from her dental practice.
The Korean War begins. Poet Gwendolyn Brooks is the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize.

1954

Brown v. Board of Education: The U.S. Supreme Court rules segregation in public education unconstitutional.

1955

Sadie is 66. Bessie is 64.bessie and sadie 1950s
Rosa Parks of Montgomery, Alabama refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man. A bus boycott is organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and local NAACP leaders.

1957

Sadie (68) and Bessie (66) move to Mt. Vernon, New York.
The Civil Rights Act of 1957 – protecting the right to vote – becomes law. Hank Aaron is voted M.V.P. in the National League.

1960

Sadie (71) retires.
John F. Kennedy elected president. To Kill a Mockingbird is published; A Raisin in the Sun is produced on Broadway.

1963

Sadie is 74. Bessie is 72.
The death of W.E.B. Du Bois. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech to over 250,000 people at the March on Washington. JFK is assassinated.

1964

Martin Luther King, Jr. wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

1965

Malcolm X assassinated in New York. Selma to Montgomery protest march. Voting Rights Act signed by President Johnson.

1967

Sadie is 78. Bessie is 76.
The “long, hot summer” of urban rioting begins in Newark, NJ. Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam is met with increasing protest.

1968

Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Mephis; Robert Kennedy assassinated in California.

1969

Sadie is 80. Bessie is 78.
Richard Nixon is sworn in as 37th president. Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon.

1974

Sadie is 85. Bessie is 83.
President Nixon resigns following the Watergate scandal.

1981

Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman Supreme Court Justice.

 1982

Sadie is 93. Bessie is 91.
Equal Rights Amendment defeated.

1986

Sadie is 97. Bessie is 95.
Halley’s Comet returns. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is celebrated as a federal holiday.

1989

Sadie celebrates her 100th birthday.bessie and sadit at home mt vernon
Barbara Harris, an African-American Episcopal priest, becomes the first female bishop of the worldwide Anglican church.

1990

Nelson Mandela released; the dismantling of apartheid begins.

1991

Bessie celebrates her 100th birthday.
The beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles is captured on videotape. The Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings are broadcast.delany sisters color

1993

Sadie is 103. Bessie is 101.
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years is published.

1995

Bessie dies at age 104.
Having Our Say is adapted and a hit at McCarter Bessie at age 100Theatre Center and on Broadway.Million Man March.in Washington DC.
OJ Simpson is acquitted.

1997

President Clinton apologizes for the Tuskegee experiments.

1998

DNA evidence confirms that Thomas Jefferson likely fathered the children of his Sadie at age 102slave, Sally Hemings.

1999

Sadie dies at 109.
Having Our Say film airs on television.

-Timeline reprinted by permission of McCarter Theatre Center

 

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18 Influential People from the Delany Sisters’ Story

hos 18 important people blogThe lives of Sadie and Bessie Delany spanned the entirety of the 20th century. When they tell the story of their lives in Having Our Say more than a few famous names pop up along the way. Here are 18 of the historical people the sisters mention we thought you might want to brush up on your knowledge of before seeing the show.

marian-anderson1. Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was a renowned contralto who performed in major American and European venues between 1925 and 1965, including the Metropolitan Opera House as its first black performer. When the Daughters of American Revolution refused to have her sing at Constitution Hall in 1939, she performed to great acclaim at the Lincoln Memorial.

jimmy carter2. Jimmy Carter (b. 1924) served as the 39th President of the U.S. from 1974-1981, and received the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his advancement of international human rights. Although the end of his term was marred by the taking of hostages in Iran, Carter managed to create the Department of Energy and the Department of Education, establish a national energy policy, reform civil service, protect national parks, and orchestrate the
Camp David Accords.

3. Anna J. Cooper (1858-1964) was an earlyAfrican-American feminist and author of A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South. An alumna of St. Augustine’s College, she graduated from Oberlin and received a doctorate from the University of Paris.  Bessie (Annie Elizabeth) was named after her. anna j cooper quote pic

 father divine4. “Father Divine” (b. George Baker, 1876-1965) was a major African-American religious figure in the 1930s who advocated the racial equality of his primarily black followers. Although some call Baker’s International Peace Mission a cult (he was worshipped as God), the organization is often touted as a precursor of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

efranklinfrazier5. E. Franklin Frazier (1894-1962) was a sociologist who specialized in the study of the black family and the black middle class. His work focused on the global effects of racism, the character of the African-American middle class, the urban socialization of African-American youth, and in general, the social problems affecting the African-American community. He served as professor at a variety of colleges and universities, and worked
for a number of U.S. sociological institutions.

6. W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was a civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, scholar, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, poet, editor of Crisis magazine, and a founder of the NAACP. Less assimilation-oriented and more radical than his contemporary Booker T. Washington, he fought against myths of racial inferiority and promoted equal treatment of African Americans.
web dubois quote pic

anita hill7. Anita Hill (b. 1956) is a professor of social policy, law, and women’s studies at Brandeis University and a former coworker of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Education. During his Senate confirmation hearings, Hill accused Thomas of making inappropriate sexual statements but Thomas ultimately received confirmation by a 52-48 vote.

alberta hunter8. Alberta Hunter (1895-1984) was a jazz and blues singer, songwriter, and actress who reached the peak of her career during the Harlem Renaissance. In the 1950s, she enrolled in nursing school and entered the medical profession, but returned to singing for the latter part of her life.


robert kennedy9. Robert Kennedy (1925-1968)
served as Attorney General, adviser to his brother John F. Kennedy, and Democratic Senator, and was assassinated during his presidential campaign. He was a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, and lobbied for African-American rights.

 

martin luther king jr10. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) was a clergyman, activist, and leader in the Civil Rights Movement.  Before his assassination, he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and received the Nobel Peace Prize. In his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” in 1963, King painted a picture of his goal: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Rosa Parks: an introvert who changed the world.11. Rosa Parks (1913-2005) became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement in 1955 when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, AL.  She thus initiated the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a movement organized in part by Martin Luther King, Jr., which ultimately led to the Supreme Court’s outlawing of segregated public transport.

adam clayton powell jr12. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1908-1972) was a Harlem Baptist pastor, the first African American congressman, and an advocate for African American civil rights. A representative of Harlem, he fought segregation and discrimination on the Hill until 1970, and became chairman of the Education and Labor Committee in 1961.

paul robeson13. Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was an accomplished athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and political activist.  A native of Princeton, he broke down color barriers in the theater, and played many serious classical roles to great acclaim. His career foundered severely at the hands of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who punished him for his political activism and social justice work.

14. Eleanor Roosevelt  (1884-1962) was First Lady from 1933 to 1945, supporting her husband’s New Deal policies, civil rights reform, and women’s rights. eleanor rooselvelt

harry truman15. Harry Truman (1884-1972) served as president of the United States from 1945-1953. He ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, signed the charter of the United Nations, established the Truman Doctrine to aid Turkey and Greece, introduced the Marshall Plan to bolster the European post-war economy, and organized NATO.

 walter f white16. Walter F. White (1893-1955) served as executive secretary of the NAACP from 1931 to 1955. During his tenure, he fought lynching, segregation, discriminatory voting practices, and racial discrimination; helped bring about the founding of a federal civil rights commission; and even contributed to the Harlem Renaissance as a writer.

malcolm x17. Malcolm X (b. Malcolm Little, 1925-1965) was a radical African-American activist, and leader and national spokesperson for the Nation of Islam for almost twelve years before he renounced his membership in 1964. Before his assassination, he traveled to Mecca and founded both Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

18. Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was an educator, orator, author, founder of the Tuskegee Institute, and leader in the African-American community throughout his life. A much more moderate reformer than some of his contemporaries, Washington believed that education and work, rather than legal and political action, were key to elevating the status of African Americans.booker t washington- List reprinted by permission of McCarter Theatre Center

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Submit to Moments & Minutes!

MM_FB_sub_picLong Wharf Theatre is seeking school-aged performers for its second annual Moments and Minutes Festival, held April 12, 2016 at 7 pm.

The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2016.

Long Wharf’s 2nd annual Moments & Minutes Festival is a celebration of our community’s youth. The evening will showcase visual art, spoken word poetry, and monologues devised by students from all over the area, highlighting both their individual and collective experiences.

LWT Education Staff will view all of the pieces and choose the top 15 performers and 10 pieces of art work which will be displayed in the Mainstage lobby on the night of the event.

The Moments and Minutes Festival also gives area teachers a unique opportunity to work with Long Wharf Theatre’s teaching artists. Throughout the season, teaching artists will be available to come into the classroom to teach workshops on writing, developing, and performing original monologues and spoken word pieces.

Guidelines for submission are as follows:

SPOKEN WORD/MONOLOGUE:

Each piece must be an original composition by the student performing it and should speak to one of the following:

  • Human Identity. Who are you? Who or what has shaped your identity thus far? What is the difference between how the world sees you and how you see yourself?
  • Dreams and Ambitions. What do you hope to achieve in the future and how will you overcome challenges?
  • Legacy. What is the legacy of your family, race, or religion? How do you hope to define your own history?

Each performance piece should be memorized and no longer than 2 minutes in length. Each performer will have access to a chair, a cube, and a microphone.

VISUAL ART:

The work can be in any of the following mediums: paint, chalk, pencil, photography, or collage. The piece should be a visual representation of one of the following:

  • Human Identity. Who are you? Who or what has shaped your identity thus far? What is the difference between how the world sees you and how you see yourself?
  • Dreams and Ambitions. What do you hope to achieve in the future and how will you overcome challenges?
  • Legacy. What is the legacy of your family, race, or religion? How do you hope to define your own history?

The student must provide an Artist’s Statement that clearly articulates how the piece represents one of the above themes. 500 words max.

Students must email their spoken word piece or monologue as well as a video clip of themselves performing it. Students wishing to submit visual art must email a photo of the piece, its title, and their Artist’s Statement. Please email all submissions to Eliza Orleans at eliza.orleans@longwharf.org with “Moments and Minutes” in the subject line.

Should video submissions be a challenge, a representative from Long Wharf Theatre will come to your school by appointment to audition students.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Resident Teaching Artist, Eliza Orleans at 203-777-7027 or eliza.orleans@longwharf.org.

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Emily Mann on HAVING OUR SAY Today

HOS_EM3In 2009 adapter and director Emily Mann remounted her extremely successful play Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters First 100 Years as part of her twentieth anniversary season at McCarter Theatre Center. Her original production 15 years earlier, which had transferred to Broadway from McCarter, had existed at a time in which the sisters themselves were still alive and the possibility of an African American president still seemed a far off possibility. As Long Wharf embarks on staging a production of Having Our Say in quite a different time than that of 1995 as well, we invite you to read what Emily Mann had to say in 2009 about how her view of the play had changed over the decade and a half since it’s original production.

Q: What are you hoping to accomplish with this new production? What is different about how you see the play now, 15 years later?

A: We are in a new era, with Obama now – the first African-American president in the White House. At the end of the play. Bessie says there’ll never be an African-American president and Sadie says “there will be,” and in fact, now there is.

The other thing is that Bessie and Sadie have both died. This makes it like a new play: looking at who they are, and what they have contributed in a way that has to do with memory in a different way. Now, we’re remembering them as they remembered their lives and the lives of their relatives and ancestors. It takes on a kind of mystical quality that’s reflected in the new conception of the production. On a very simple level, the design is different. Rather than it being in a circle -going from room to room to room – we’re going in one direction, and ending up in a more and more abstract space, because they are talking to us from a different vantage point.

It’s just so precious to hear their wisdom now, filtered through the last fifteen years of experience. We are coming to them in a different way. I think it will engender a lot of very interesting questions about the basics of “Who are we as Americans, at this moment in time?”; “Who were we?”; “Where’ve we been?”; “Where’re we now?” and “Where are we going?”

If I think of my plays as children, then this is my sweetest child! And there’s something kind of wonderful about getting back together, and visiting with my most inspiring, comforting, and loving play.

- Reprinted by permission of McCarter Theatre Center

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Emily Mann on the Delany Sisters

HOS_EM1Q: As part of your research for this production, you had a wonderful opportunity to meet with the Delany sisters. How did they come across to you?

A: I guess when I first met them what was most striking was I had never met anyone quite so old, and they were ancient women. But after speaking with them for, I would say, ten minutes, the age melted away. They were so young. They were so present, and so alive, and just looking into their eyes was not just an experience of great wisdom and experience, but so much light! They have memories better than mine, which I guess is not hard, but they remember everything perfectly! Their sense of detail is extraordinary. Their sense of humor – I mean, I’m sure that’s why they’ve lived so long. They laughed more in the hour we were with them than most of us laugh in a week. And they clearly adored each other, and that was a wonderful thing to see. And their dynamic with Amy [Hill Hearth, who wrote the book with them] was also marvelous. There’s a great deal of care and respect there.

Q. How did they feel about having their lives adapted into a play?

A: They were very excited about it. They were just having such a great time with all of it. As they say, “If you can help even just one person, it’s worth doing – that’s what Mama always said.” What I found so amazing was that having absorbed the book totally, I thought I would go and meet them and then see who they really were. But they were exactly who I thought they would be. It was just like meeting old friends – recognizing them and being with them. We just all connected on a very deep level. They’re extraordinary human beings.

- Reprinted by permission of McCarter Theatre Center

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Emily Mann on Adapting HAVING OUR SAY

HOS_EM2Q: The book of HAVING OUR SAY is filled with wonderful anecdotes and stories about the Delany sisters’ lives. Did you find it difficult to pick and choose which sections you would include in the stage version?

A: It was a very painful process. When I first started, it must have been about five or six hours long. There was so much I wanted to include, and I knew it could only be a third as long as it was. So it was a constant battle of distilling and cutting and shaping to find the essential form.

Q: Were there certain elements you felt were important to include?

A: Oh, absolutely. There are a number of very important elements. One of course is the whole question about tracing African-American history through the lives of the sisters and the memories of their parents so that you get a very long sweep of personal history. Secondly, we’re looking at American women facing the barriers of discrimination against women. These are women whose father was born a slave, and then they become some of the first educated women, black or white, in this country. They went on to become often the first in their fields to do what they were doing. They were facing both the racial and the gender obstacles. That was something I wanted to make sure was in there loud and clear because it was a part of their daily lives. Then in terms of sticking with the social and political level, I wanted to include their memories of their parents. So we go back on their mother’s side to the War of 1812.

We tend to have very unsophisticated and almost clichéd visions and images of what slavery days were about. The Delany sisters break these preconceived ideas. They challenge all of us to listen again from a very unique perspective about what happened. And because they were particularly fortunate, it puts into high relief the devastating effects that slavery and Emancipation had on other families. The Delany family had the opportunity before Emancipation to be educated – that was a big advantage. Also, their family was together. They hadn’t been abused. Those things allowed them to go quickly into the professional classes. There were many intelligent and ambitious men and women who had three strikes against them when they started.

Reconstruction was an exciting time. Jim Crow destroyed the opportunities presented during those years just after the end of the Civil War. The Delany’s experience both the excitement and “the day everything changed” (the misery of Jim Crown).

Beyond the political and the social, I just cared so much about them – humanly and spiritually. In so many ways, these women really tell us how to live. They’ve lived so well. They know how to love. This is a partnership of over a hundred years. It demonstrates a real lesson on how to live with somebody – whether it’s your best friend or your spouse or your sister or brother.

Q: During the course of adapting HAVING OUR SAY for the stage, how did you make that leap from page to stage? Were there particular devices you felt were necessary to use to bring it alive for an audience?

A: Well it needed an action and an event. For that we use the element of cooking a celebratory dinner in honor of their father’s birthday. I also felt that there needs to be a progression. Part of that is accomplished by having a visitor – us. There’s a relationship that grows between them and us. While we listen, more and more is revealed.

-Reprinted by permission of McCarter Theatre Center

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Meet the Winner of SING YOUR STORY

TINA COLÓN
Tina Colon picture sys

Singer-songwriter and bandleader Tina Colón was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. She learned piano at an early age, and started singing with her best friend from high school who wanted to be a pop star. Soon enough, she began writing songs of her own. She came to New Haven in 2005 to become a student at Yale University. She picked up the guitar; she sang with the Yale Gospel Choir and the Shades a cappella group; she eventually recorded her first original CD; and she performed her songs for various audiences in and around New Haven (including a brief stint as a jazz vocalist).

Tina now serves as the worship pastor of the Elm City Vineyard Church here in New Haven while also working as an immigration lawyer with Wiggin and Dana. She lives with her husband Josh, who is a pastor, in the Dwight-Kensington neighborhood of New Haven, and she continues to perform and write music. Her original songs are soulful with a justice bent and are infused with faith, hope, and lots of love.

Watch Tina’s award-winning Sing Your Story entry:
What I’m Looking For

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