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The Bluest Eye

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bluest eye 01Keeping with Theatre Conspiracy’s latest initiative to produce work that is geared towards minority artists, Theatre Conspiracy will open The Bluest Eye by Lydia Diamond based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Toni Morrison. This show will open February 5.

This critically-acclaimed adaptation follows three girls in post-depression Ohio. Eleven- year-old Pecola Breedlove despises her dark skin and prays for blue eyes, sure that love will follow. Claudia and Frieda McTeer are sisters who try to care for Pecola when the rest of the community fails to do so. With rich language and bold vision, this story examines standards of beauty, a young girl’s coming of age and the Eye Blue 03devastating events she endures. Performances are February 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on February 14.

Individual tickets are $24. Women under 41 yrs old and students with proper ID are $11. Thursdays are “buy one get one off the regular price” For more information you can call Theatre Conspiracy’s box office at 239-936-3239 or visit www.theatreconspiracy.org.

 

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Spotlight on ‘The Bluest Eye’ playwright Lydia R. Diamond (02-12-16)

Eye Blue 08Lydia R. Diamond is a nationally-recognized playwright and an assistant professor at Boston University’s School of Theatre. Her award-winning plays, including Harriet Jacobs, The Bluest Eye, and Voyeurs de Venus, have been produced across the country. Most recently, Diamond’s play Stick Fly was produced on Broadway at the Cort Theatre, where it enjoyed a three-month run.

Eye Blue 09Ms. Diamond is currently working on her next show about a neurobiologist who studies race through brain imaging. She will also research and complete a first draft of a new play, Victoria’s Sarah, a historical fiction based on the life of a West African princess raised in Queen Victoria’s court in the early 1800s.

Diamond’s work has won the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago Black Excellence Award, an American Alliance for Theatre and Education Award, a Back Stage Garland Award, a Black Theatre Alliance’s Negro Ensemble Company Award for Best Play and Lorraine Eye Blue 10Hansberry Award for Best Writing, an Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Award, an LA Weekly Theater Award, and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award. She received an Illinois Arts Council Grant and has been in residence at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago through the NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights. Diamond has been a W.E.B. DuBois Institute Fellow and a Huntington Playwrighting Fellow and is currently a member of the Theatre Communications Group board and the Huntington Theatre Company’s Council of Overseers. She graduated from Northwestern University.

Please see above for play dates and times.

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Spotlight on ‘Bluest Eye’ na’er-do-well parents Pottz Turlington and Jasmine S. Green (02-12-16)

Eye Blue 04On stage in the Foulds Theater is Theatre Conspiracy’s production of The Bluest Eye. The story revolves around an eleven-year-old black girl by the name of Pecola who believes that she is ugly and that having blue eyes would make her beautiful.

Pecola’s father is Cholly Breedlove, who is both Eye Blue 06impulsive and violent—free, but in a dangerous way. Having suffered early humiliations, he takes out his frustration on the women in his life. He is capable of both tenderness and rage, but as the story unfolds, rage increasingly dominates.

Mrs. Breedlove also believes that she is ugly, and this belief has made her lonely and cold. She has a deformed foot and sees herself as the martyr of a terrible marriage. She finds meaning not in her own family but in romantic movies and in her work caring for a well-to-do white family.

Eye Blue 07Pottz Turlington plays Cholly. A Fort Myers resident by way of Detroit, he has gained experience as an actor throughout his high school and college career, performing in plays such as Cyrano de Bergerac and Visiting Mr. Green.

Mrs. Breedlove is played by Southwest Florida “wordsmith” Jasmine S. Green. The Bluest Eye represents her local theater debut. However, she did study performing arts at the world-renowned Howard W. Blake High School in Tampa.

Please see above for remaining play dates, times and ticket information.

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Spotlight on ‘Bluest Eye’ actresses Cantrella Canady and Katherine Oni (02-11-16)

Angela Pierre 03On stage in the Foulds Theater is Theatre Conspiracy’s production of The Bluest Eye. The story revolves around an eleven-year-old black girl by the name of Pecola who believes that she is ugly and that having blue eyes would make her beautiful. Claudia and Frieda McTeer are sisters who try to care for Pecola when the rest of the community fails to do so.

Claudia is an independent and strong-minded nine-year-old, who rebels against adults’ tyranny over children and against the black community’s idealization of white beauty standards. She has Cantrella and Katherine Oninot yet learned the self-hatred that plagues her peers. She is played by Cantrella Canady, who is thrilled to reunite with her Theatre Conspiracy family on stage once again. Theatre Conspiracy audiences will recall her performance in last year’s hit, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, as well as this season’s production of Mr. Burns A Post-Electric Play.

Frieda is Claudia’s ten-year-old sister. Frieda shares Claudia’s independence and stubbornness. Because Bluest Eye Photos 05jpgshe is closer to adolescence, Frieda is more vulnerable to her community’s equation of whiteness with beauty. Played by Fort Myers native Katherine Oni, Frieda is more knowledgeable about the adult world and sometimes braver than Claudia. Katherine is Florida Gulf Coast University senior, who will graduate in May with a major in Communications and a minor in Theater. She was awarded runner-Bluest Eye Photos 03jpgup at the annual Young Artist Awards in the category of Drama in 2012 and 2015. Katherine is very excited to be part of her first local production of 2016.

You can enjoy both Cantrella Canady and Katherine Oni in The Bluest Eye. Please see above for remaining play dates, times and ticket information.

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Angela Pierre plays Pecola in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of Lydia Diamond’s ‘The Bluest Eye’ (02-10-16)

Angela Pierre 01On stage in the Foulds Theater is Theatre Conspiracy’s production of The Bluest Eye. The story revolves around an eleven-year-old black girl by the name of Pecola who believes that she is ugly and that having blue eyes would make her beautiful. Sensitive and delicate, she passively suffers the abuse of her mother, father, and classmates. She is lonely and imaginative.

Pecola is played by Florida native and proud University of Florida grad Angela Pierre. Although her profession is in the information technology industry, she has been involved in local productions of Jersey Girls, Brooklyn Boys, Christmas Spectacular, and is excited about her upcoming role in Sweet Charity. In 2014, she won the title of Miss Gold Coast under the Miss America Scholarship Pageant organization where she competitively sang Grammy Award winning hits from Whitney Houston and Tina Turner.

Catch Angela in The Bluest Eye. See above for remaining play dates, times and ticket information.

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