The North Carolina Black Repertory Company understands the impact the arts and theatre can have on tackling difficult and complex issues. NC Black Rep has partnered with several organizations on initiatives to help improve community health and well-being including:
Breast Cancer Awareness
The Sting of White Roses tells the story of David Seed, who on the verge of welcoming his first child into the world, returns to the place he feels most safe; his mother’s home. But as he and his wife prepare to welcome this brand new life, his wife’s body betrays her, and for the first time David meets an illness that he’s not sure his anointed voice can heal.
Examining the effects of breast cancer on a family while highlighting the strength found in one’s faith, playwright Angelica Chéri notes: “I wrote The Sting of White Roses because I needed to explore the painful intricacies of my mother’s passing from breast cancer, both for my own personal healing and the healing of other people who have lost a loved one to illness. The play offers no answers as to why these tragic things happen, but rather it presses in on the importance of maintaining one’s faith during these battles.”
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NC Black Rep hosted a number of special events in conjunction with the production, highlighted by an art exhibit of original paintings by Janie McGee titled Mamie’s Tea in Pink. The exhibit featured works depicting vintage and retro afternoon tea parties, quiet times of prayer, and sisterhood. The exhibit was birthed from the Pink Diva Series that McGee started several years ago to bring color and faith to Breast Cancer Survivors in the Black community. All paintings were available for purchase through a silent auction during the exhibit, with 20% of the proceeds, along with $1 from every ticket sale, donated to Susan G. Komen Northwest NC (NWNC).
Other special events included:
- Talkback with medical professionals
- Shades of Hope Day: Talkback with the Komen NWNC Shades of Hope African-American Outreach Committee
- Talkback with Pastors Mike and Darla Rakes of Winston Salem First
- Talkback with Komen NWNC Faces of Breast Cancer
Source: Broadway World
Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness
Maid’s Door tells the story of a family pushed to the breaking point as they struggle to save their beloved matriarch from being robbed of a glorious present by ghosts from her past. The audience soon learns, however, that she isn’t “revisiting her past,” but is falling prey to Alzheimer’s disease.
5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. Every 66 seconds someone develops the disease. There is no cure and the burden is great. 16 million unpaid caregivers care for someone with dementia. NC Black Rep partnered with Wake Forest University’s Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s. The Sticht Center and NC Black Rep hosted a Talk Back after each performance for an informal conversation about the impact of memory loss and Alzheimer’s on families, friends, and community.
“We are excited to partner with the NC Black Rep and their production of Maid’s Door in this critical fight against Alzheimer’s disease. As we work hard to find a cure, NC Black Rep is providing an important service, after such powerful theatrical performances, by helping the community gain access to much needed information about Alzheimer’s and caregiving,” states Laura Baker, PhD, Associate Professor, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine. “We also are able to communicate the importance and benefits of participating in clinical research in our efforts to find a cure.”