The recent Berry College Theatre Company production of "The Colored Museum" featured its first all-black cast.
"For the first time, BCTC mounted a show with an entirely African-American cast by one of the country's most celebrated black playwrights, a production that attracted many from the black community from Rome and beyond and was very well received," said Director John Countryman.
"A critic from the American College Theatre Festival was so impressed by the show that he suggested BCTC revive the play for competition at their regional festival."
Comprised of six people playing diverse roles, the play begins with the arrival of slave ships and continues through to the 1980s, when the play "The Colored Museum" written by George C. Wolfe was first performed.
Freshman Stephen Stamps, who played five characters, was excited to be a part of the first all-black cast at Berry.
"The play has opened my eyes to dilemmas within my culture I hadn't recognized before. I knew African-Americans obviously struggled through segregation. But, obstacles still remain today by having to adjust to living in a white man's world, while simultaneously seeking to affirm our own authentic identity," Stamps said.
Although the play is generally light-hearted and farcical, its underlying themes are intended as a valuable reminder of the African-American struggle for equality and recognition. The eclectic blend of fun music, comedic dialogue, and tragic circumstances persuaded freshman Bradley Tilka to enjoy the play not once, but a second time.
"While the play produced a lot of laughter in the audience, it definitely confronted social issues that are still prevalent today." Tilka said.Written by Student Public Relations Assistant Alyssa Smith