Inspired by Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s poem, “We Wear the Mask,” Black Women Taking Off the Masks is a new script exploring my feeling that African American Black women wrestle with knowing authentic love and thus wear masks when it comes to showing genuine feelings. “We grin politely around others to fit in with societal expectations instead of truly expressing ourselves and our thoughts, thereby allowing the world to think we have no problems.” In the spirit of trying to understand, my script examines heartache, a lack of love for and in many Black women and their search for healing from social and cultural trauma inflicted upon them in the past and present. It is organized around lyrics written to be performed as improvised 12-bar blues by the singers, prose, hip hop, monologues and conversations.
Becky Bass, Cilla Bento, Lynese Browder, Samia Nash, Sylvia Ann Soares, Angela Nash Wade, Kim Trusty, Rose Weaver
Initial funding provided by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts 2018. Rose won the 2018 RISCA Fellowship in Playwriting. Current Funding provided in part by Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and Black Women’s Collective.