Emily Mann's Having Our Say, an adaptation of Sadie and Bessie Delany's bestselling memoir of the same name, will open May 7 at International City Theatre for a six- week run.
Caryn Morse Desai directs Amentha Dymally as Sadie and Patricia Belcher as Bessie, the two sisters who look back on 100 years of family life and black history in America.
Sadie died at the age of 109 on Jan. 25 of this year; her sister died at age 104 in September 1995, five months after the play opened on Broadway.
The sisters, two of ten children of a former slave, recount their homespun tales of a household built on the importance of family, religion and education. Throughout their lives, Sadie and Bessie struggled against prejudice and segregation in trying to achieve their goals. Both graduates of Columbia University, Bessie was the second African-American licensed to practice dentistry in New York state, and Sadie was the first African-American ever to teach home economics in a New York City public high school.
In the play, the sisters invite the audience into their living room to hear the story of their lives. They share an endless array of recollections, anecdotes, advice and aphorisms, while simultaneously serving tea and preparing a five-course meal.Having Our Say is the second production of ICT's 14th season in its 99-seat venue located on the campus of Long Beach City College. The remaining two productions are Orphans by Lyle Kessler (July 30-Sept. 5) and Goblin Market by Polly Pen and Peggy Harmon (Oct. 8-Nov. 14).
Call (562) 938-4128 for information.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent