It is difficult to pin down a race of people, but the six ladies of Wild Women Theatre attempt to do just that with their hilarious but truthful interpretation of being a black woman in Letters to and from Me. Reading letters addressed to oneself, the women who refer to themselves as the Gone Postal Secret Society of Disgruntled Black Letter Carriers (GPSSDBLC) explore life from ages ranging from four to seventy-one. What advice would you give yourself, if you could turn back the hands of time?
Divided into three acts, the play covers an array of emotions, stereotypes, and misjudgments. A few of the audience’s favorite scenes were “Handlebars” from Act I; “Ms. Happy Black Woman Pageant” from Act II; and “Gone Postal #3.” Each stood out for its innuendos but straightforward approach.
Songs such as “Please Mr. Postman,” by the Marvelettes, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” by Sarah Vaughn, and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder tied in with the postal theme, but was not overdone. Of all the music played “American Woman” by Jack Richardson stood out because what is exactly justified as an American woman?
Letters to and from Me
by Pamela Burgess-Jones, Margaux Delotte-Bennett, Farah Lawal, Ashly LeGrant and Clarissa McKithen
900 Massachusetts Ave NW
Details and tickets
From a young age, black women are taught to be quiet, not loud; black is beautiful, but good luck finding it in mainstream culture; and of course, your bodies are temples, but will be overtly sexualized and objectified. What a heavy burden to bare.
With burdens come feelings of insecurity, anger, depression, and confusion. However, what Letters to and from Me does so well is addressing that and moving on. If anything, there was nothing but laughter ripping through the crowd and not one tear shed. Yes, heads nodded and there were a few verbal agreements, yet what do you expect? Wild Women Theatre knows their sh*t.
With breakout performances by the entire cast, this play is one of a kind because irrespective of society’s stereotypes and lack thereof concerning black cultural awareness, the real question is do you as a woman love yourself first and foremost?
And that is a question that bridges humanity regardless of your skin tone.