do you know”Purple“From Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, to Steven Spielberg’s 1985 winning film, or the 2005 Broadway musical, this story has inspired millions.
In the story, teenage Celie is torn apart from her beloved sister and forced into an abusive marriage, and over the next four decades we watch her suffer from depression, despair and heartbreak, but also from a group of Hope found in her friend who inspired her to find her voice, discover her beauty, and change her life.
The Signature Theatre presents a musical directed by Timothy Douglas this week through October 9.
The show stars Nova Y. Payton as Celie, Danielle J. Summons as Shug Avery, Frenchie Davis as Sofia, Kayla Gross as Nettie, Stephawn P. Stephens as Ol’ Mister/Preacher, Solomon Parker III as Harpo, Tẹmídayọ Amay as Squeak, Torrey Linder as Mr.
For Gross, being a part of this production is something special because not only does she love the story it tells, but it holds a special place in her heart, as Celie is her first protagonist, She will never forget everything she learned on the show that process.
“I played Celie in college and this is my second project,” she said. “My professor kept calling me ‘Celie’ and I didn’t know what he meant until my audition came next semester. I remember connecting with Celie in a number of ways, one of which was finding out that everything I needed was It’s already in me. Playing this big role early in my career really helped me start the process of finding myself.”
She saw the movie when she was younger, but didn’t really understand the depth of it until she was involved in the production, only remembering Sugar Avery dancing in a pretty red dress.
When she was cast in Nettie to work on Signature’s production, she quickly saw the amazing talent she would be working with and knew it was her chance to grow and learn from some of the best people in the area.
“These people are a must-see. This work is about delivering this impactful work,” Gross said. “I show up, stay present, let myself feel every emotion, and then I release it.”
One of her favorite experiences was working with Douglas.
“There are not enough words to even explain how honored and blessed I am to meet this amazing man,” she said. “He pulled out of me what I didn’t even know was inside of me. He gave clear direction on what he wanted, but also allowed us to be who we were. He brought to the production So much knowledge and authenticity. He’s always been very honest about where he was in the process, which allowed us to work on this piece as a whole.”
Whether or not anyone is familiar with the piece, Gross noted that it’s a story that everyone should see in this form and encourages people to come out.
The artists on stage, along with a fantastic production team, put in a tremendous effort to create a work that is heartfelt and emotional,” she said. “There’s nothing better than live theatre. For those who have read the book, watching the show can give a good sense of what was read because it fits the book so well. For those who have seen the movie, watching the show will give you a deeper understanding of Shug and her relationship with Celie. “
But most importantly, she shared, “Purple” Just a beautiful piece of work and seeing this show will make the audience laugh, cry and inspire the audience.
“Get yourself God-centered and understand that God is everywhere and has power in everything, and seeing this work through Celie will prove that,” Gross said. “Finally, this post has relevant content to discuss. It can be used as a learning tool for understanding yourself or how to deal with other people who are showing what is being shown. At the end of the day this show is great, come check it out … you won’t regret it.”