The Evolution of: “For Colored Girls…”

The Play (1975).

“For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf” is a play written by Ntozake Shange. Initially staged in California, it has been performed off and on Broadway with the 1977 Broadway production being nominated for a Tony Award for best play. “For Colored Girls…” is a series of about 20 poems expressively choreographed to music. In the play Shange’s stage directions provide a sense of the interrelationships among the performers and of their gestures and dance movements beginning and ending with the lady in brown. The other six performers represent all the colors of the rainbow with each lady draped in the colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. “Bein’ alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical dilemma” being explored in the play through various words, dance moves, gestures and music while all seven ladies improvise  between various roles. It is noted that in the 1970s, when Ntozake Shange herself performed in for colored girls…,  she continually revised and refined the poems and the movements in her search to express a female black identity. Improvisation is central to her celebration of the uniqueness of the black female body and language, and it participates in the play’s theme of movement as a means to combat the stasis of the subjugation.

The Book (1977):

From its inception in California in 1974 to its highly acclaimed critical success at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater and on Broadway, the Obie Award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf has excited, inspired, and transformed audiences all over the country. Passionate and fearless, Shange’s words reveal what it is to be of color and female in the twentieth century. First published in 1975 when it was praised by The New Yorker for “encompassing…every feeling and experience a woman has ever had,” for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf will be read and performed for generations to come.


The Movie (2010).

FOR COLORED GIRLS brings to the screen Ntozake Shange’s Obie Award-winning play, a poetic exploration of what is to be of color and a female in this world.


Soooooo culture/heritage, femininity, struggle, passion, poetry & music on ONE STAGE?

Queen has only ONE sentiment for that…



About Queen Unique

Involved Parent/PTA Member Connoisseur of SOUL Music Lover of ALL things BLACK Poet/Spoken Word Artist Nostalgic Hip Hop head Graphic Artist/Painter Online Radio Hostess Motivational Speaker Habitual Hair Braider Freelance Journalist Random Twitter-er Selective Blogger Published Author Youth Volunteer Choosey Lover Autism Activist Visual Artist Bookworm See full bio at:
This entry was posted in Black History, Education, Entertainment, For OUR Daughters, Girl Power, Inspirational/Motivational, Love You Some You, Natural Hair Journey, Race Matters, Teach the babies, Things I Love and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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