Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Durham's NCCU Presents "Black Mama Monologues" Gives Voice to Black Motherhood

Durham African-American community has a long and proud history. At Durham's North Carolina Central University, a historically black university, the “Black Mama Monologues” will be presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Conceived by Anton Hough and Kerri Mubaarak, “Black Mama Monologues” captures the soul of the African-American woman. The production was originally designed for the Caldcleugh Multicultural Arts Center’s We Are One Performing Arts Program in Greensboro. It was later performed by The Collective. The unique approach to the production offers cast members the opportunity to compose monologues about their own life experiences, influences and exposures to African- American mothers. The result of such an intimate project has yielded a voice and a tribute to the African-American matriarch.

“The audience is able to step into a world of individual, real-life encounters with a black mama that are also collective and easily recognizable,” said Dr. Asabi, assistant professor of theater at NCCU and artistic director of the production. “These accounts address the unique culture, experiences, struggles, desires, familial commitment, relationships and spirituality of African-American women.”

Sixteen actors will share their reflections of the phenomenal influence of African-American women in their lives from life lessons learned to distinctive methods of discipline. Filled with music and dance, this exuberant drama also gives three NCCU students the opportunity to serve as choreographers.

“Throughout history the black mother is the epitome of an extraordinary being with unspeakable strength, irresistible beauty, undying love and enduring wisdom,” Asabi said. “She has survived the denial of her physical beauty and the ability to be her true self. “Survival in such an adversarial environment has given birth to this exclusive spirit of the black mama.  I was inspired to take this experience, opportunity and creative premise to the community.”

Shows will be presented on Feb. 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 12 and 19 at 2 p.m. in the University Theater. Tickets are $5 for students, senior citizens and children aged 4 to 17, and $10 for general admission. To purchase tickets, contact the NCCU ticket office at 919-530-5170. University Theater is in the Farrison–Newton Communications Building.

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