Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company, under the leadership of incoming Artistic Director Jamil Jude, has unveiled its 2019–2020 season. Under the banner of She Griots, the three productions that make up the 17th season at the Atlanta theatre—Paradise Blue, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, and Marie & Rosetta—celebrate Black women storytellers.
“In dedicating this season to these griots—these Black women—we seek to respond to a gap in the American Theatre where women are woefully underrepresented, with Black women making up an even smaller percentage,” shared Jude.
Kicking of the season in the fall will be Dominique Morisseau's Paradise Blue, the third play in the playwright's Detroit trilogy. Seen Off-Broadway last year, Paradise Blue takes place in a jazz club in Detroit's Black Bottom, a neighborhood on the verge of radical change. Artistic Director Jude will direct.
In the new year, True Colors will present Jocelyn Bioh's Off-Broadway hit School Girls. Set in a boarding school in Ghana during the 1980s, the comedy looks at themes of colorism, classism, colonialism, and more. Tinashe Kajese-Bolden will direct with performances scheduled to run February 11–March 8.
Rounding out the season next June will be George Brant's Marie & Rosetta. Previously seen at Atlantic Theater Company Off-Broadway, the play with music recounts the story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, also known as The Godmother of rock 'n' roll, and her journey with young gospel singer Marie Knight.
“We are choosing to honor the work of the ‘sheroes’ in our community and the artists who have shouted our songs and shared our stories to edify the world,” says Jude.
All productions will feature a Black woman director and all-Black women casts, with Marie and Rosetta featuring an all-Black women artistic design team. All performances will be presented at the Fulton County Southwest Arts Center.