Gee's Bend, Alabama, has a long and often troubled history of oppression and discrimination. At one point during the civil rights era, the isolated town had its ferry service cut off to keep its African-American residents from exercising their voting rights. Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder's play about the women of the area draws on stories of tribulation and perseverance expressed through gospel music and the distinctive quilts of Gee's Bend, which were recognized for their artistry and craft, and eventually exhibited in museums. This promises to be a rich and soulful show, focused on expressing what lies within the individual, and the notion that people's circumstances do not equate with their essence. The quilts of Gee's Bend are symbolic of endurance and heritage, the soul of a community passed along through its women as something unchanging and true. In their fashion, they express the universal behind the particular: the idea that we continually fashion a new moment out of what came before, and what can hopefully be.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 15. Continues through Nov. 7, 2010