MAPLEWOOD, NJ - 4th Wall Theatre will celebrate Black History Month with Ntozake Shange’s ground-breaking play for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, with performances at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts (10 Durand Rd., Maplewood) on Feb. 16, Feb. 17, and Feb. 18.

The piece, which is characterized as a “choreopoem," weaves together 20 separate poems with music, movement, and narratives to tell the stories of love, empowerment, struggle, and loss in a complex representation of African-American sisterhood, according to a press release about the show.

The cast consists of seven nameless African-American women only identified by the colors they are assigned. The show first premiered at the Henry Street Settlement, Joseph Papp's Public Theatre, and later moved to Broadway. 

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According to Maplewood's Office of Cultural Affairs Manager Andrew Fishman, “the company has a history of choosing lesser known material with an eye on broadening cultural diversity both on stage and in the audience which is obviously a great fit for this community.”

Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca, added, “the timing for this presentation couldn’t be better falling in the heart of Black History Month, and we enthusiastically welcome this organization to the Burgdorff Center.”

4th Wall’s production of for colored girls... is directed by Gwen Ricks-Spencer, 4th Wall founding member and current Executive Director.

“This piece holds a very special place in my heart,” says director Ricks-Spencer. “It was the very first show I ever saw on Broadway and it made a lasting and profound impression on me,” she continues.  “I was excited at the idea of directing the stage version, because so many people only know the 2015 movie by Tyler Perry. The play has an immediacy and intimacy that is palpable on the stage. It also provides an opportunity for the audience to hear all of the poems that make up the piece. There were shortened versions of several of them in the movie.”

The show contains mature subject matter, and those attending are asked to use discretion when considering bringing children under 16. The show will be followed by a brief discussion for those who are interested.

for colored girls... will play three performances; Friday, Feb. 16 and Saturday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. All performances are at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts  (10 Durand Road) in Maplewood.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $15 for students with ID. Tickets may be reserved by calling 973-996-8484. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are accepted. Tickets may also be purchased online, and additional information is available at www.4thwalltheatre.org.

Editor's Note: The 4th Wall Theatre usually performs at the Westminster Performing Arts Center at Bloomfield College. The historic roof of that building is being replaced so all groups that call the space home are performing elsewhere in 2018. Westminster Arts Center at Bloomfield College to Close for 2018 for Repairs to Historic Roof