directed by

Thomas W. Jones II

music direction by

William Hubbard & William Knowles

featuring

Roz White, Duyen Washington,

Margo Moorer, and Anthony Manough

with Greg Holloway on percussion

The true story of the Pettway women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Through segregation, family turmoil, and the Civil Rights Movement, the women turn to quilting to provide comfort and context for their lives. These quilts, a labor of love and necessity, turn out to be valuable works of art. Featuring three strong women and interwoven with gospel music, Gee’s Bend is a deeply personal story of family, self-discovery and artistic expression.

“Wilder weaves an equally impressive tapestry, capturing the history and daily life of these inspirational souls while threading the local melodious dialect, spiritual conviction and artistic flare through the fabric of one family’s story. Wilder’s colorful language and characters, as well as her quintessential distillation of the material make for a stirring story.” Variety

 

 

 

DEIDRA LAWAN STARNES TAKES ON ROLE IN GEE'S BEND - DCTHEATRESCENE.COM

By Lorraine Treanor, October 25, 2013

Audiences seeing MetroStage’s critically acclaimed production of Gee’s Bend this weekend will be in for a special treat. For performances Oct 24 – 27, Helen Hayes Award recipient Deidra LaWan Starnes will be stepping in as Nella, temporarily replacing Margo Moorer who originated the role because the actress had a prior commitment in Atlanta...

 

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A QUILTING PLAY THAT FEELS STITCHED TO LAST - WASHINGTON CITY PAPER

By Rebecca J. Ritzel, October 18, 2013

Carolyn Griffin, the jack-of-all-theater trades who runs MetroStage, still can’t believe she’s offering the D.C. premiere of Gee’s Bend, a 2007 play about three generations of Alabama quilters. “It’s been all over the country,” she says, shaking her head before a show last week. “Gee’s Bend been done in big cities, but it’s never been here.”

 

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THE MUSIC OF GEE'S BEND FINDS A HOME AT METROSTAGE - DCTHEATRESCENE.COM

By Hunter Styles, October 2, 2013

The lives of the Pettway women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama are stitched indelibly into the quilts they made. And as the presence of those quilts grew in the American consciousness — evolving from simple domestic wares into powerful social artifacts and, eventually, into American treasures — an unseen perspective on segregation and the Civil Rights Movement began to emerge.

 

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'GEE'S BEND': STEEPED IN NOSTALGIC AMERICANA - THE WASHINGTON POST

By Nelson Pressley, Friday, September 20

Rep Stage in Columbia and MetroStage in Alexandria represent the northern and southern poles of the Washington theater world. Both are small professional troupes that have been around for a couple of decades, and though MetroStage does a brisk business in small-scale musicals (often jazz or blues biographies), both share a reputation for tasteful plays.

 

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BWW REVIEWS: GEE'S BEND DEBUTS IN DC

From the heart of Elizabeth Gregory-Wilder and the community at MetroStage comes Gee's Bend, an emotive account of a woman and her family living in the bend of Boykin, Alabama during the Civil Rights movement. The story begins with a dream, narrated to us by the play's heroine, Sadie (Roz White). Her story gives insight to the lives of the Pettway women, ladies who brave the trials of segregation and other hardships, not without reminding us of the values they hold dear. This show will bring forth lessons of valuing family, taking chances, standing for your convictions, and sharing your blessings.

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DCTHEATRESCENE'S DEBBIE MINTER-JACKSON REVIEWS GEE'S BEND

MetroStage’s production of Gee’s Bend is everything I could possibly hope for.  The story spans seventy years in ninety minutes and explores characters behind the famed Gee’s Bend quilts by focusing on a mother and two daughters in an isolated part of rural Alabama.  The small African American community tucked into the “bend” of the Alabama river is in constant jeopardy of being cut off from the mainland, and thus functions as a self-sufficient microcosm, where the women master skills such as quilting.

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‘GEE’S BEND’ AT METROSTAGE BY RAMONA HARPER

"This ensemble was exquisite” — praise testimony of a theatergoer after seeing Gee’s Bend at MetroStage.

Amazing how a cast of just four performers are able to transform the simple life of the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama into a triumphant recreation of the traditional culture of the rural South and the artistic expression of the art of quilting. The quilt represents so much more than something to cover a bed....

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JOEL MARKOWITZ OF DCMETROTHEATERARTS.COM INTERVIEWS MARGO MOORER

She's been involved with Gee's Bend since its first reading and now Margo Moorer will be reprising the role of Nella In MetroStage's new production of Gee's Bend, which opens on September 12th. Margo takes us back to that first reading and a visit to meet the women of Gee's Bend before the first production in Alabama, and introduces us to her cast mates at MetroStage.

Joel: When and how did you first get involved in Gee's Bend?

Margo: I was cast for the reading...

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METROSTAGE WELCOMES MARGO MOORER TO OUR STAGE TO REPRISE THE ROLE OF NELLA, WHICH SHE ORIGINATED AT THE ALABAMA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL IN 2007.

In Margo Moorer's Own Words

From the initial reading to the final bow of the tour, Gee’s Bend has held a special place in my heart:  a very special place. I was so impressed with how well the language fit in my mouth, in my being; I made Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder “an honorary black girl” for handling the truth of the language and the root essence of the women.

DC AREA PREMIERE OF GEE'S BEND AT METROSTAGE SEPTEMBER 12 - NOVEMBER 3, 2013

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Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder and directed by Thomas W. Jones II, music directed by William Hubbard and William Knowles will be in performance at MetroStage Sept. 12-Nov. 3.  Gee’s Bend tells the true story of the Pettway family in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, as they live through segregation, the Civil Rights Movement and become famous for their iconic quilts. All of this is told with a backdrop of soul-stirring music in the gospel tradition that the Gee’s Bend women sang as they quilted. The year is 1939 and young Sadie and Nella are at the river, Gee’s Bend being literally in the bend of the Alabama River, a land where these former slaves have lived for generations

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MetroStage is funded in part by the Virginia Commision for the Arts, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.

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