Florence and Wine in the Wilderness

Rising star, theatre-maker and director, Nwabisa Plaatjie, brings to life two beautiful plays by American playwright, Alice Childress, as part of the Baxter’s Women’s Month celebrations.

The compelling double bill comprising Florence and Wine in the Wilderness, make their South African premiere at the Baxter and they have been carefully chosen to pay tribute to the evolving black woman who should not be defined by a single, limited image or narrative.

Written in 1950, Florence, takes place in a train station waiting room in a very small town in America’s south. The play describes how Miss Whitney (Zoleka Helesi), a black mother in her late 50s, engages in conversation with a white woman, Mrs Carter (played by Daneel van der Walt). Through their exchange, Miss Whitney realises that her daughter (Florence) – a struggling young actress – may not be able to pursue her dream in a racist and fickle world.

Wine in the Wilderness explores the experience of being a black woman and how black characters struggle to get past classicism, poverty and gender politics. An artist (Sizwesandile Mnisi) is working on a “triptych” entitled Wine in the Wilderness, a series of three paintings which is meant to express his statement about black womanhood. But what precisely is black womanhood and who decides on that definition?

Alice Childress was an American novelist, playwright and actress, widely acknowledged as the only African American woman to have written, produced and published plays for four decades and the first to win an Obie Award. She was a beacon of hope, known for opening doors for many black playwrights, actors and producers such as Ntozake Shange and Lorraine Hansberry. She also became actively involved in social justice causes and formed an off-Broadway union for actors.

The cast of six is made up of Zoleka Helesi (Karoo Moose, Mies Julie), Daneel van der Walt (Rocky Horror Show, Taming of the Shrew), Apollo Ntshoko (Samson, John Kani’s Missing …), Marty Kintu (When Swallows Cry, The Looming Tower), Indalo Bennet (Faint Paint of Light, Rock to the Core) and Sizwesandile Mnisi (The Fall, Aunty Merle, The Musical).

‘I believe racism has killed more people than speed, heroin or cancer, and will continue to kill until it is no more.” – Alice Childress

 

28 Aug - 13 Sep

Starts: 7:30 pm

Additional Performances:
7 Sep - 7:30 pm

Drama / Golden Arrow Studio

Florence and Wine in the Wilderness are two short plays written by American writer Alice Childress, who was a beacon of hope known for opening doors for countless black playwrights, actors and producers.

The compelling double bill comprising Florence and Wine in the Wilderness, make their South African premiere at the Baxter and they have been carefully chosen to pay tribute to the evolving black woman who should not be defined by a single, limited image or narrative.