Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Remembering Shades of Black: Actress Vidda Beache

Vidda Beache
It's been over two years since Shades of Black debuted on stage, but the play still resonates with the actors who participated in the project. Khadijah Ali-Coleman, the producing director and writer of Shades of Black caught up with Vidda Beache, one of the actresses in the play who was also a student at Morgan State University, where the play debuted. Vidda shared her memories about being part of the cast and what she thinks Shades of Blacks did for those who participated in its production and were part of the audience.

KAC: Why did you choose to participate in the play Shades of Black: a thought in progress?

Vidda: I had alot of respect for the director/author of the play, so when I heard she was spearheading this project I didn't think twice.

KAC: Aw, thanks, Vidda. That means a lot. What were three highlights for you in participating in the production?

Vidda: Initially just getting back on stage was a big high for me, I participated in theatre alot in high school so it brought back alot of good memories. Secondly, the cast was phenomenal, I loved them all and most of us still keep in touch. Last but definitely not least, was the strong subject matter of the play, there were alot of messages embedded in the comedy of the script, and I wanted to help bring that out to my peers.

KAC: Tell us your interpretation of what the play is about.

Vidda: Shades of Black was centered on a character called Moon, and all the characters or the scenes in the play were connected to her in some way. Each scene addressed a different angle of black cultural stereotypes.

What do you think the play's valuable messages were?

Vidda: I believe it highlighted many common situations where as a people we stereotype and confine ourselves, but it encouraged us to look on our history and find motivation for improvement.

KAC: Tell us about your character? What were his/her motivations and weakenesses? What were his/her strengths? How did your character fit into the greater scheme of the play?

Vidda: My character was the stereotypical "babymama" who finds her man cheating, and instead of trying to discusss things with him, she gets into a fight with the other woman. I believe my character was motivated by love but was blinded by the pain of infidelity. In terms of strengths, she was determined to get her man, she did not shy away from confrontation. This scene was one of the dramatic final scenes that showed exactly how badly our sterotypes can play out. One of my brothers ends up shooting my child's father in the process of the altercation.

KAC: You participated in the play while a student in college, did the play impact your studies in any way? (for better or for worse)

Vidda: It definitely improved my time management skills. I admit it was challenging at times to find a balance between school, work and practice but it was definitely worth it.

KAC: Did the play or participation in the play impact your interactions with others on your campus?

Vidda: I met alot of new people, from the cast to audience members who would approach me afterwards on campus.

KAC: Were there any lessons you learned about people while participating in the production?

Vidda: Sometimes people are stuck in a situation and they just can not see it from the right perspective and it takes something or someone to shake things up for there to be any real change

KAC: Was a there a part of the play that resonated with you most of all?

Vidda: My favourite scene was the one with a bunch of black women in a salon talking about their hair and deciding what was good hair and what wasn't. I think that hair plays a big role in our identity as black women, and a lot of us are not comfortable with who we are naturally.

KAC: How do you think theater can be used as a tool for engaging students on a college campus

Vidda: I definitely think theatre can be used as a teaching tool, the messages we brought to the student body with this play were much more significant to them than anything they could have read in a classroom.

What Did You Enjoy Most About the Play?

Shades of Black graphic by MYSTStudios.com

MYSTStudios.com designed the play's promotional graphics and produced the original music in the play. Visit MYSTStudios.com today!