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Playwright, Gabrielle Pina, Letters From Zora ~Starring Vanessa Bell Calloway

  • Broadcast in Culture
The Gist of Freedom

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Tune in to The Gist of Freedom, The Black History Internet Radio show with host Shellie Gaines as we welcome Award winning Playwright & Author Gabrielle Pina! Gabrielle will talk to Shellie about her play "Letters From Zora" ~Starring Vanessa Bell Calloway. Letters From Zora is currently running at the crossroadstheatrecompany.org!

Review:

“Letters from Zora: In Her Own Words,” for which the meticulous and poetic Gabrielle Denise Pina, a novelist in her own right, collected Zora’s massive correspondence and crafted it into a monologue delivered at New Brunswick’s Crossroads Theatre with wit, sincerity, and majesty by Vanessa Bell Calloway.

Calloway’s feat of memory is stunning enough. In more than 100  minutes, without a chance to pause, let alone to stop for an intermission, the actress never stumbled, missed a cue for transition, or failed to articulate the genius, both as a writer, and as a woman determined to live independently according to her own principles, of Zora Neale Hurston.

Calloway’s performance is enchanting. Besides being fluid and heartfelt, it reminds us, thanks to Pina’s excellent editing and composition, how extraordinary and how pioneering Zora was.

Everything Zora for stood and fervently believed is revealed in Pina’s text, and Calloway magically embodies the grit and strongmindedness of Zora along with her femininity, abundant sense of humor, and disdain for anything false or condescending.

Yes, the words as Pina’s title tells us plainly, are Zora’s, but Pina is the one who had to take a volume of letters and make them into one cohesive, listenable and "entertaining" work."

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