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for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf is Ntozake Shange's first work and most acclaimed theater piece, premiered in 1976.It consists of a series of poetic monologues to be accompanied by dance movements and music, a form Shange coined as the choreopoem.The 1976 Broadway production was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play.
As a choreopoem, the piece is a series of 20 separate poems choreographed to music that weaves interconnected stories of love, empowerment, struggle and loss into a complex representation of sisterhood.
The cast consists of seven nameless African-American women only identified by the colors they are assigned.
She embodies the spirit of her namesake, Sechita, the Egyptian goddess of creativity, love, beauty and filth from the 2nd millennium.
The lady in brown describes falling in love with Toussaint L'Ouverture finding Toussaint in the library near the train tracks.
The lady in blue talks about how she used to participate in dance marathons frequently.
One night she refused to dance with anyone that only spoke English. She ends her monologue by calling it her poem "thank-you for music," to which she states: "I love you more than poem".
Subjects from rape, abandonment, abortion, and domestic violence are tackled. Each woman states where she is from, by stating they are outside their respective cities.
The lady in brown proclaims that this piece is all for "colored girls who have considered suicide / but moved to the ends of their own rainbows".
The lady in red states that society only believes someone is a rapist if they are a perverted stranger.
The women talk about male friends of theirs who have nice smiles and buy them dinner but end up raping women.