Description and review of A Song for Coretta, a play by Pearl Cleage now playing at Celebration Arts Theatre in Midtown Sacramento.
A group of SWAN (Sacramento Women’s Action Network) members attended A Song for Coretta at Celebration Arts on Sunday afternoon. One of the performers had been mentored by a SWAN co-founder and we were all looking forward to see her in what was her second Celebration Arts performance.
I had been impressed with the quality of the acting in A Raisin in The Sun, my first Celebration Arts play in what had previously been the B Street Theatre Children’s Theatre. A Song for Coretta did not disappoint.
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Pearl Cleage Playwright
The premier of A Song for Coretta was in February 2007 at Spelman College as part of the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Spelman College drama department. Ms. Cleage earned her undergraduate degree in theatre there.
I was not familiar with Pearl Cleage, an Atlanta-based writer of four novels and dozens of plays, who is also a former columnist for The Atlanta Tribute. I can now, however, describe myself a fan of her work.
A Song for Coretta
The time is February 6, 2006 at 11:30 p.m. The place is the sidewalk outside of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
The storyline is about five women, strangers, who stand in line to pay their respects to Coretta Scott King. Their stories as to the “why” they are standing in line is at the heart of the play.
The five women differ in age and experience. Helen Richards, a senior, met Coretta King twice – when she was a child. An aspiring radio journalist, Zora Evans, is freelancing and hoping to sell her story about the people in line waiting to enter the church to PBS. Mona Lisa Martin, from New Orleans, has experienced the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, and its chilling aftermath. Keisha Cameron is a young woman who has made bad choices – but wants to do what is right for her unborn child. Gwen Johnson, a medic in the military, is on leave and has been traumatized by the horror that is war.
To Sum Up
I do not want to give away the plot so I will just say that A Song for Coretta is playing at Celebration Arts through May 26 and I highly recommend it.
Comments on A Song for Coretta?
If you have had the opportunity to see A Song for Coretta – what would you add?
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