‘Black is the Color of My Voice’ is the debut production of new Shanghai-based theater company “Play the Spotlight” (PTS): a one-woman show, written and performed by American acress and singer Apphia Campbell, directed by Arran Hawkins, and produced by Rami Abunameh.
Pulling off a one-man show is no easy task, and sometimes the fact that the actor does not have a stage partner to react to can be distracting rather than engaging. But in this case, we are happy to testify that it needs no more than that one woman to keep the audience completely hooked over the time of the play.
The orginal script is inspired by the biography of the “High Priestess of Soul”, pianist and civil rights activist Nina Simone. Apphia Campbell in the role of Mena Bordeaux takes us on a tour through different stages of her life and career, struggling to find inner peace after the untimely death of her father with whom she parted ways years ago.
As Mena digs through her suitcase, she discloses her youth as an aspiring musical talent, setbacks grounded in racial inequality, experiences with domestic violence, the passion she put into the civil rights movement, and ultimately, the alienation from her family. Memories of her life’s most decisive moments and choices are evoked, flashbacks solely carried by Apphia’s expressional performance and powerful singing voice, which do justice to her source of inspiration.
The dimly lit, small stage and efficient use of illumination and music give the whole set a very intimate feeling, and made us forget that we aren’t actually watching a woman named Mena Bordeaux reconciling her decisions.
We are excited to see what Apphia Campbell comes up with next, and recommend you grab a ticket for one of the remaining shows.
Black is the Color of My Voice is playing on May 30-31 and June 1-2.
Call 18201837723 for reservations or email [email protected]
Presale tickets (150RMB) are also available at all Big Bamboo bars:
123 Nanyang Lu, near Tongren Lu （南阳路123号, 近铜仁路）
20 Hong Mei Entertainment Street, Lane 3338 Hongmei Lu （虹梅路3338号， 虹梅路休闲街20号)
381 Hongfeng Lu, near Biyun Lu (红枫路381号， 近碧云路)
150RMB (presale), 180RMB door // May 23-26 + May 30 – June 2 // Doors at 7pm, play at 8pm // Anken Green Rooftop, 668 Huai an Lu, near Suzhou creek (淮安路668号靠近苏州川)
By Lukas Steinberg