Mamba's Daughters will be the featured production of this year's renowned Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, S.C., May 27 - June 13.
Directed by Target Margin Theater artistic director David Herskovits, and written by Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, Mamba is the only theater production which will run all three weeks of the festival. The Spoleto roster will also include the latest from Laurie Anderson, Ping Chong, Sonny Rollins, Ricky Jay, and the American premiere of Kurt Weill's Die Burgschaft.
The production won two OBIE awards last year when Target Margin produced the first revival of the 1939 play at OOB's HERE space in 1998. The original Broadway production starred Ethel Waters, Jose Ferrer and Alberta Hunter.
It would be somewhat of a homecoming for the play whose authors (also the authors of Porgy and Bess) are from Charleston -- where the play has never been performed. Mamba's Daughters is set in the late 1930's amid the sharecropper shacks and swamps in the Gullah community outside Charleston, SC. The story revolves around three generations of black women struggling to break free from the prejudice and poverty, and makes use of spirituals "Come Out de Wilderness," "Don' Ya Mind What De Debil Do" and "Siporatin' Line." Also heard is "Lonesome Walls," which Jerome Kern wrote specifically for the 1939 Broadway production.
As with the New York production, the Spoleto cast stars the OBIE award winning Heather Gillespie, as well as William Badgett, Melody Cooper, Billie James, Alvin Alexis, Douglass Stewart, Tony Jackson, Beresford Bennett, Joyce Lee, Greig Sargeant, Rosemaire Cepeda, Jacqueline Gregg, Andrew Dolan, Yuri Skujins and Alima Lindsey. For tickets or more information on the Spoleto Festival, call (843) 723- 0402.
-- By Sean McGrath