the shelah marie

Encouraging healthy women from the inside out.

Shakin' The Mess: Girl Power!

The type of theater I most enjoy is the kind that directly benefits its community in some way. Thankfully, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to work with a great non-profit organization called Girl Power, Inc. Under the leadership of World Literacy Crusade (WLC): a international non-profit, community literacy program, Girl Power, Inc. seeks to provide a positive influence for adolescent girls ages 11-17. In line with their core values, Girl Power seeks to build a fully functional complex called Mamma Hattie’s House where these at-risk girls can come for guidance as well as educational, spiritual and physical growth.

I think the separation of theater and community is inevitable, of course, as theater in many cases is a commercial venture and not a public service – but I nurture the times when the theater serves its audience in a direct manner.

This play speaks stories that many of the audience will relate to first hand. In most cases polarized populations, such as the one Girl Power serves, have to engage in layers of translation in the theater. They haven’t lived those certain situations but they imagine themselves doing so, they picture themselves in place of the white male lead and so on. I am proud that this play will not need translation. I expect a steady flow of “Umm hmm’s" and "Amens” throughout the play as it's written from and for an African-American female perspective.

We are in our third week of rehearsal and things are coming along well. There are the expected bumps along the road that you encounter with any community theater gig (the cast usually can’t afford to drop other commitments, lack of budget and resources, etc) but hey, that’s fun part, right?