Souleo Universe

Presented by the African American Museum in Philadelphia and First Person Arts.

Award-winning playwright, poet, author, and self-proclaimed black feminist Ntozake Shange presents a performance reading from her collection of original poetry, including the groundbreaking Tony and Obie Award-winning choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Join the conversation with Ntozake Shange and special guests during a post-show discussion about the creation and influence of her prolific work.

Musical accompaniment by Craig S. Harris. Moderated by Souleo, curator of i found god in myself: the 40th anniversary celebration of “for colored girls” on view at the African American Museum in Philadelphia Oct. 1, 2016-Jan. 2, 2017.


Ntozake Shange is one of America’s greatest living writers—an acknowledged master in the genres of drama, fiction, memoir, and poetry.

Her Obie Award-winning theatre piece For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow Is Enuf was a stunning success on Broadway in 1976-1977. For Colored Girls… has been performed continuously since then both in the United States and abroad, has remained in print since its publication in 1974, and was made into a movie by Tyler Perry in 2010. For Colored Girls… stands as one of only two unquestioned Broadway hit productions by African American women in the history of the New York theater—the other being the incomparable Lorraine Hansberry’s “ A Raisin in the Sun” from 1959.

In a hugely prolific career, Shange has written 15 plays, 19 poetry collections, 6 novels, 5 children’s books, 3 collections of essays, and a partial memoir called Lost in Language & Sound. Ms. Shange has been the recipient of numerous awards including an Outer Critics Circle Award, AUDELCO award, Guggenheim fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund annual writer’s award, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry, Paul Robeson Achievement Award, National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, New Federal Theatre lifetime achievement award, and the Medal of Excellence from Columbia University. She has also been nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Emmy awards. Ms. Shange was honored with a proclamation of Ntozake Shange Day, (Borough of Manhattan, New York) by Congressman Charles Rangel on June 14, 2014.

Photo credit: Adger Cowans.


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