Delta Center Stage Sweeps the 2012 MTA Theatre Festival in Gulfport

We are so proud of our community arts partner Delta Center Stage, who was honored with SEVEN awards for their performance of “For Colored Girls” at the 2012 MTA Theatre Festival in Gulfport, MS! Donna Riley at the Delta Democrat Times wrote an outstanding article on the piece, read the full announcement after the jump!

DCS wins big at state theatre festival

January 17, 2012

By Donna Riley

Delta Center Stage raked in the awards Saturday for its production of “Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf ” last weekend at the 2012 MTA Theatre Festival in Gulfport.

The play earned best actress, best play, best director and best costume honors and three cast members were named to the eight-member all-star cast.

Zina Kelly earned Best Actress honors. Tameka Simmons, Jaribu Hill and Jasmine Pollard were the members of the ensemble named to the All-Star Cast. The play was directed by Margaret Carey-McCray. Costumes were designed and built by Lillie Rose Wells and Sonya Bixler, and Assistant Director was Darlene French-White.

The rest of the cast included Amber Hendrix,  Lucille Brown and Cynthia Armstrong.

The play was written by Ntozake Shange in 1975.

“I was blown away,” said Beth Harvey, a judge at the festival and director of the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts at Florida State College in Jacksonville.

Tim Bixler, executive director of Delta Center Stage, said that the cast rehearsed for about six weeks before taking the production to Gulfport. Bixler added that local performances of the play will be scheduled soon.

“Their performance was one of the best examples of ensemble work on stage that I’ve seen,” Bixler said.

Because of their win, the Delta Center Stage troupe will represent Mississippi in the Ten-state Southeastern Theatre Conference  festival March 7-11 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Bixler said that this was the sixth win for Delta Center Stage at the state festival since 1995.

Cast members and their biographies are:

  •  Cynthia Armstrong is a teacher of special needs children at Greenwood Middle School. She also teaches in the summers in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University and has done graduate work at the University of Southern Mississippi.
  • Zina Kelly is a graduate of Jackson State University and is currently pursuing a masters degree in counseling at Delta State University.  Kelly grew up with the DCS youth theatre program. She first played a turtle at age eight, finishing her “youth” career as Dorothy in The Wiz in 2006.
  • Jasmine Pollard is a student of Mississippi Valley State University currently pursuing a bachelors degree in English Literature. Jasmine loves the arts and theater and wants to continue to work in the arts and fashion.
  • Jaribu Hill is an attorney and municipal judge for the City of Hollandale. She is the founder of the Mississippi Worker’s Center for Human Rights.
  • Temika Simmons holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Howard University.  She is an assistant professor of psychology at Delta State University.
  • Lucille Brown has been a high school English teacher for 18 years. Lucille is an Indianola native, and has taught at Greenville High for the last eight years. She holds a masters in Education Administration from Walden University in Minnesota.
  • Amber Marie Hendricks is a self-proclaimed military brat. Amber has lived up and down the east coast since the age of two. She received her bachelors degree in English from Mississippi Valley State University, and later her master’s degree in English from Northwestern State University of Louisiana.  Currently she is pursuing her doctorate at the University of Memphis.  Her last stage appearance was in high school as Asaka, Mother of the Earth.
  •  Director Margaret Carey-McCray  is a circuit judge for the Fourth Circuit of Mississippi, serving Washington, Sunflower and Leflore Counties. She has directed a number of Delta Center Stage plays over the years including DreamGirls, A Raisin in the Sun, and Flyin’ West.

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