The Theater group Thinking in Full Color performed six monologues Monday about race, gender, tolerance and cultural identity in the United States. The performance was meant to educate people across the country on these important issues through their art.
Thinking in Full Color is a theater performance group that aims to encourage conversations and education about racial tolerance and the experiences of women of color in the United States. The Jersey City-based group was created by Summer Dawn Reyes, who wanted to create artistic opportunities for women of color. The group takes monologue submissions from all over the country, publishing and performing many of those submissions. For Monday’s performance in Konover, Reyes, Samille Ganges and Alicia Rivas each took a turn acting out two monologues.
Rivas’ first monologue, which she had written, began and ended with a song in Spanish. A fair amount of the performance was done in Spanish, and even if those in attendance could not understand the language, they could still feel the power and emotion in her words. Her second performance sought to dismantle the stereotypes associated with Latina women by telling the story of a young Latina woman who wanted to be who she truly was – hardcore.
Ganges told the story of a pregnant black woman who was ignored by customer service and was looked down upon by many of the people in her life. Ganges’ monologue was heartbreaking, as it chronicled the tale of a black woman who was treated without basic human respect.
“It’s the miracle of life for us too,” Ganges said. “Why shouldn’t we be given a chance to enjoy it?”
Ganges’ second monologue took place at a party. Her comical performance brought up some of the microaggressions many black women feel on a daily basis. After encountering a man who said that he could not date black, Latina or Italian women because of their feisty natures, Ganges’ character couldn’t help but feel disgusted at what she had heard.
Reyes wrote both of her monologues. Her monologue first told the hilarious story of dating as an Asian American woman, and the types of men she encounters. The purpose of her performance was to discuss the stereotypes often associated with Asian American women, and the many racist questions they get, like “Where are you from?” Reyes’ second monologue discussed the importance of speaking up to injustices. “How can we watch and not speak up?” Reyes said.
Finally, all three women stood up to end the performance with the powerful monologue “How to Leave a Man and How to Leave a Country.”
“The women were really powerful in what they had to say, they all had their own unique experiences,” seventh-semester geoscience major Banu Bayrahtar said. “All these women have their own personal experiences based on what they look like and where they are from, whether it was their choice or not.”
After the performance, there was time left for questions and answers. Many of those in attendance took this as an opportunity to discuss their own experiences, and how many of them related to what the three actresses had conveyed in their performances.
“We all have our own different struggles, and [you should] not judge a book by its cover” said Bayrahtar.
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.