For Colored Girls Who Have Considered. . .

. . Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enough is a choreopoem written by Ntozake Shange. This play started as a series of poems written by Shange, that organically grew through performances and additions into the work of art that eventually made it to Broadway in 1976 earning numerous awards including an Obie and a Tony.


In college, my theatre class performed this play as series of excerpts. For class, I performed The Lady in Brown Toussaint L’Ouverture piece. Unfortunately, for the actual performance, I was relegated to narrator for the Lady in Purple ‘Sechita’ piece.

All of this probably makes no sense unless you’ve read the play. The cast of characters are seven women named for the spectrum of the rainbow.

The play begins:

Lady in Brown

sing a black girl’s song

bring her out

to know herself

to know you

but sing her rhythms

carin/struggle/hard times

sing her song of life

she’s been dead so long

closed in silence so long

she doesn’t know the sound

of her own voice

her infinite beauty

she’s half-notes scattered

without rhythm/no tune

sing her sighs

sing the song of her possibilities

sing a righteous gospel

the makin of a melody

let her be born

let her be born

& handle her warmly.

Goldberg_ag88083341_150x200_2 India_arie

Whoopi Goldberg was to bring a revival of this play to Broadway this fall but one of the producers pulled out. It was to star India Arie. Let’s hope it sees the light of day. I really want to see it, ON BROADWAY!!

I hope to one day play The Lady in Purple instead of a dumb narrator.

2 thoughts on “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered. . .

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