Field Trip: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf

The Office of LGBTQ Services purchased tickets for a small group of QTPOC (Queer & Trans People of Color) students to attend the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf, written by Ntozake Shange. The play was performed at the Open Stage of Harrisburg, just a short drive up Interstate 81, in conjunction with Sankofa African American Theatre Company. The piece is a series of 20 separate poems 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. They are the lady in red, lady in orange, lady in yellow, lady in green, lady in blue, lady in brown, and lady in purple.

One of the Dickinson students in attendance was Kenny Bullock ’19, who serves as an Events & Programs Pride Coordinator for the Office of LGBTQ Services. Here is her short reflection on the experience:

Something happens to a being when their agency is taken away from them. The playwright Ntozake Shange, who is also from my hometown Trenton, NJ, did an amazing job at examining the many stages that one could experience during the healing process. Imagine sitting in a living room hearing the stories of survivors, being part of the survivor conversation. Imagine being held, supported and loved by said group. That was the experience of For Colored Girls at the Open Stage of Harrisburg. Besides the amazing saturated theatrical lighting, the simple yet powerful stage set, the characters made me feel loved, feel in control, gain the strength that I needed to own my narrative, to take my body back.

The love, and energy in the entire room, even the tears are unmatched, the experience was unmatched. I saw the rainbow.

Written by Erica Lawrence, Director , Office of LGBTQ Services