THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2005 - 103RD  YEAR, NO. 29 - C2005 THE MIAMI HERALD - FINAL - 35 CENTS

 

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

 

THEATRE REVIEWS

Director adds polish to new troupe

 

BY BRETT O'BOURKE    

bo'bourke@herald.com

 

    Liberty City's got drama.
Not just the daily kind we all

live with, but - thanks in part 

to the Celebrate One Stage 
Theatre Repertory, which 
staged it's debut performance
last weekend - the kind of
drama played out under hot 
lights, to the applause of an 

appreciative audience.
    The fledgling group joins

the African-American Per

forming Arts Community The-

atre to the community.  
Both groups make their per-

forming home in the Black Box

Theatre at the Carrie Meek
Cultural Arts Center.

For its debut performance,
 

 


 


 

 

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the theater's artistic director, 
Stephen Ramon Gilmore, 

staged both Say Young-

blood's Shakin' the Mess Outta 

Misery and Paris and Michael

Dean's one-woman show,

Outliving the Scars On My Back.

    Misery is about a girl's com-

ing of age in the 1960's South.  

    Daughter (Janay Harrison), 

the motherless 25-year-old

narrator, says she was raised

by six "black woman surviving

with dignity."  As she tells her

story, Daughter becomes 12

again, recounting lessons from

her "big mamas."

    Doing away with plot and 

character development, the

play unfolds in a series of

vignettes with each woman.  

Topics range from the horrors

 



 

 

Misery and starts in her one woman show Outliving The Scars On My Back.

    In Scars, Dean recounts her journey to self-realized womanhood.

    Dean has been obsessed 

from an early age with the desire for straight hair, a desire she says has been passed down since slavery.  We follow her from her first straightenings in her mothers's kitchen to the blond wig she wore as an exotic dancer in order to pay for college to the barber's chair where she shaves it all off as a grown woman determined to define her identity and self-worth on her own terms 

    Dean's performance is 

dand indignities visited upon

blacks by racist whites to the necessity of being able to provide for yourself, to being proud of who you are and where you come from.

    Gilmore gets a nice effort from the cast of mostly novice actors.  When all seven women are onstage at once, he does a good job of creating space and moving the actors through it fluidly.  His work is also evi-dent in some of the more heated scenes where moments of silence are built into places the inexperienced actors would be unlikely to puth them on their own.  The strongest performance is delivered by Paris Davis Dean, who plays Aunt Mae the strongest performance is delivered by Paris Davis Dean, who plays Aunt Mae in  

delivered with the kind of passion, precision and natural beauty that brings more drama into everyday lives.