The Negro Ensemble Co, Inc.
a photograph, lovers in motion
by Ntozake Shange
adapted and directed by Ifa Bayeza
Thursdays thru Sundays, February 7-29, 2020
Theatre 80 St. Marks
80 St. Marks Place
New York New York 10003
My dear friends,
Zake and I worked together three times: on the transformation of for colored girls from her solo performance to the theatrical masterpiece, on our co-authored novel Some Sing, Some Cry, and on the reimagining of a photograph, lovers in motion, a play where she experiements with integrating the heightened language of poetry with dialogue.
When NEC asked her for a work to produce in 2014, she was at a low point, recovering from a series of illnesses. “Give them a surprise,” I said, “Let’s work on something you’ve already got going, but could use a little ‘tlc.'” At the time, she couldn’t hold a pen. “Then, tell me the story.” This began our redraft over that winter, culminating in a concert reading in the spring of 2015. In 2019, NEC was one of 66 organizations that received a grant from the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund, allowing the company to produce the work in full.
In this new incarnation, the play centers around the female character michael, who is now not simply a dancer, but a poet/dancer. Like its precursor for colored girls, the play explores the journey of young womanhood and chronicles Shange’s years in San Francisco prior to her departure for New York and theatre history.
I am so excited about our amazing ensemble! My only regret is that Zake is not here to work on the project with me and see this new adaptation unfold. Join me in celebrating her magnificent voice and vision as I make my directing debut.
Openng Night is February 7th. Valentine’s Day is a two-for-one special!
See You at the Theatre!