penumbra

Spunk! was fabulous last night.  If you are in the Twin Cities you really must go see it, there is only one week left.

Each act of the play is the telling of a different short story by Zora Neale Hurston – the cast tells the stories through narration, action and dialogue, but every word spoken comes from the short stories themselves.  The only Hurston I have read before this week is Their Eyes Were Watching God.  These three stories inspired me to read more.

Portrait of Zora Neale Hurston: Eatonville, Fl...
Portrait of Zora Neale Hurston: Eatonville, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)Why are there so many good things to read in this world?

The costumes, set and music were beautiful.  The stories were heart breaking at some points, funny at others and even heart warming at others.

What I loved about a play featuring three short stories was the diversity of experience in African American Life in the 1930s and 1940s that it was able to portray.  In “Spunk!” you don’t get a two dimensional picture of Black Life, nor are the characters stereotypes.  The characters are diverse, from kind a kind and loving husband, to a swindler, two male prostitutes, a long suffering wife, a wife who makes a mistake and finds redemption and a woman who is not going to suffer fools.

Before last night’s performance there was a short reception put on by on of St. Paul’s City Council Members Melvin Carter III and Mayor Chris Coleman.  They each spoke on the impact Penumbra Theatre Company has had in the city of Saint Paul and the larger arts world and expressed gratitude that Penumbra is back.  The theatre had to close its doors and cancelled most of its 2012 – 2013 season due to financial troubles.