Zora! -- A Play By Laurence Holder * Stars Antonia Badon
“RIVETING," Irma Tyus-Mitchell Black Noir/Strokes of Genius
“FLAWLESS," Khadijah Cole
“BRAVO," Playthell Benjamin, Black World Today
"SAPRKLING," Daaya Lomax, WHCR 90.3FM
“SOUL–TINGLING," Richard Fewell, Professor
"BRILLIANT," Anthony Whyte, SLR/August Publishing
A Story of Triumph, Courage & Success
One Woman Play (19 Character Portrayals) of the legendary Zora Neale Hurston Starring NAACP AWARD WINNER Antonia Badon
ZORA-- A Play By Laurence Holder
New York, NY - Zora in Harlem ignites the spirit of Zora’s adventurous energy while preparing students, theater enthusiasts, Zora followers and world travelers to trace the roots to the famous era. The one-woman play captures the story of birth of the roaring 1920’s Harlem Renaissance and the life & times of Zora Neale Hurston.
The play takes you on a journey of a small town southern girl who longed to go to school and embraced her financial disparities by enrolling in high school with one change of underwear, one dress, and one pair of shoes. January 1925, with $1.50 in her purse and a dream, Zora moved to Harlem and became the first black woman to study at Barnard/Columbia University, rose to fame as a writer, helped pioneer the Harlem Renaissance literary movement, secured a Guggenheim Fellowship Award to study in Haiti, Jamaica and throughout the gulf coast and ultimately became one of the world’s greatest literary geniuses.
NAACP winner, New Orleans-actress’ Antoniá Badón-unique adaptation (one-woman biography) transcends time and place in 19 character portrayals, 15 wardrobe changes, 15 authentic voices and 15 music transitions all in 1 hour and 40 minutes for a moment in time allowing the audience to witness a sneak preview of the extraordinary dramatic transformation and portrayal of the famous Hurston in, Zora Returns...
Often labeled as one of the most gifted and prolific artists of the New Negro Movement, later to be known as the Harlem Renaissance. Zora Neale Hurston emerged from a small town in Eatonville, Florida. Through the many stages of her life, not bounded by limitations, the scenes in this 19-character portrayal of her life in Zora, takes place amidst a backdrop that symbolizes the dynamics in which legends are made. This play evokes the pilgrimage of one of the most interesting black woman as well as refreshes through the authors memories one of the most enlightening eras of our time.
The scene opens with a young woman resembling a child who hasn’t quite overcome adolescence, but who develops a keen interest to attain an education in lieu of the racial disparities that plagued African Americans. All of the factors contributing to the fourteen year old character of Zora allude to her having a tumultuous childhood and relying on those instances to design her future. Working odd and end jobs to finance her move and education, it is now revealed that this small time girl from Florida would soon become a trailblazer on the campus of Howard University.
This being one of her depots for the development of her dreams, Zora quickly realizes her calling and began to work on her craft by writing articles and essays that depicted Negro life. At a time when her peers were writing about racism and what the patron’s wanted them to write, Zora wrote what she was most proud of and that was being black. Recognizing her zest and unique insight for life, Zora was summoned to Barnard University where she meets a Professor Boaz, who intrigued her interest in African-American Anthropology.
With the gift of story-telling and the ability to soar beyond the highest of heights, ZORA reached her apex and discovered her potential as an anthropologist, essayist and contributor to various projects with her "colored" contemporaries Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Wallace Thurman, Alain Locke, Dubois and Garvey.
Her many travels to the South, New Orleans, Haiti and Jamaica were the foundation of her folklore expeditions and lead-up to the penning of her first novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which exemplified Zora’s ability to make these experiences into stories that fills a tall order to educate and entertain audiences across the globe.
Zora is an encouraging play that allows its audience to go on a passage that has forever shaped the course of history. Come witness the past, the present, and the future of a writer who helped transform Harlem's economic structure with the launching of the first black literary magazine "Fire."