A powerful production of 'Southern Girls' is now open at the Hudson Backstage Theatre by 'All the Way Productions, Inc.' and the Producer Harry Jones Jr., which takes us into a deep dive of various racial challenges where the lives of six women in the South are followed from their childhood through middle age, 1952 to 1992.
The play is set in a small town in Alabama and is severely layered with a heavy amount of an emotional rollercoaster from the beginning until the very end. The racial conflict between black and white is deeply explored with scenes of extreme pain, snobbery, murder, injustice, and dreams. Two of these women are black, three are white, and one is biracial. We observe the little girls growing up by playing and quoting their mama's and papa's racial remarks. The dreams of a little black girl dancing like a princess are shattered after being hurt by the boys and the rape, which leaves her pregnant and lost for a moment.
The experience of the murder of Robert Kennedy, the murder and burning of a brother, to calling upon 'Sweet Jesus' for help and a white girl wanting to help a black girl leads to moments of great monologues and reflections of their experiences by writing the letters. The play is interwoven with feelings of anger, frustration, and guilt. Every time another woman is hurt and nobody can do anything about it, the feeling of being born by the river in a little trench and not belonging anywhere comes out. The wish to leave that 'stinking place' and go somewhere pretty far away becomes a heavy desire and hope for a better tomorrow. The emotional impulses are strongly presented throughout the play.
The current production under the leading hand of Zaida Ife is profoundly staged with many interwoven double scenes where every moment is so carefully analyzed and deeply explored. With directing experience for over 40 years and remarkable theatre credits involving a nomination for an NAACP Theater Award for Best Director, Zaida is also an author of a few successful screenplays. In addition, she produced and directed several national touring shows on the urban circuit and loves educating others.
The outstanding cast for the new production of Southern Girls includes Ash Saunders (Naomi Hurdle), Jessica Sade Ward (Ruth Hurdle), Dolly Granger Jackson (Katie Spokely), Maria Jimena Gastelum (June-Adele Taylor), Swisyzinna (Wanda-Sue Johnson), and Arianna Evangelia (Charlotte Cecil Martin). Bravo girls!
This play would not exist without the masterful writing by Sheri Bailey and Dura Temple and the production team of Anna Kuperschmidt (Stage Manager), Matthew Perelman (Asst. Stage Manager), Mylette Nora (Costume Designer), Fritz Davis (Production Assistant), and Phillip Sokoloff (Publicity).
Thank You to Stacie Jackson, Stanley Jones, Brianna Mina, YoAnna, and Latrice Jackson. Also, a Special Thanks to Lauren Siegfried, Jeanne Valleroy, Erika Cohen, Caleb Decius, All of the hosts, Phillip Sokoloff, and the staff of the Hudson Theater.
The Production runs weekends at the Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038 through February 26, 2023, with performances Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm.
$35.00 - General Public/ $25 Seniors (55+), Groups (up to 6), Students / *No persons under 16 admitted* Tickets purchased at Goldstar / Online: