SACRAMENTO – Each person will walk away from her play with something different, but playwright Delilah Rashell Williams, hopes that everyone will “emerge” better than they were upon entering the theater.
Williams brings “Emerge: 7 Women 7 Stools,” which she co-wrote with local vocalist Kitty Griffin, to Sacramento’s The Center at Twenty Three-Hundred Friday, April 5 at 8:00 p.m. The show is about seven women’s struggle and triumph.
The “Emerge” cast is comprised of Darlene Tellis, from the play “Jar the Floor;” Motown recording artist Cynthia Douglas; Elise Reese from the musical “Mahalia;” Amber Sauer, a backup singer for recording artist Kelly Price; Elaine Moonie, from Tyler Perry’s stage play “I Can Do Bad All By Myself;” Cyarra Scott, of Seattle; and Sacramento’s own gospel artist Kitty Griffin.
Williams says “Emerge” was actually Griffin’s brainchild.
“She wanted me to co-author, direct and produce this piece,” Williams shared.
“At first I wasn’t at all interested, but she reminded me that I owed her a favor as she had starred in my last show, ‘Somebody Ought To Tell God Thank You’ with Vickie Winans. Reluctantly I agreed, but in retrospect, I’m glad I did,” she continued.
Williams’ writing resume includes the plays “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be” and “God’s Trying To Tell You Something.” The new work, she said, is just as impactful as the others.
“It is said, ‘the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.’ it is our hope that through ‘Emerge: 7 Women 7 Stools’ those hands are not handicapped by their current situations, crippled by their past, limited by their resources, bruised by their failures, cursed by their sicknesses, discouraged by their circumstances, imprisoned by their captors; but instead those hands are strong, prepared, nourished, cleansed, informed, encouraged, enlightened, uplifted and inspired.
“Emerge” is the story of hope, she adds.
“We are telling the stories that have been kept secret ignored or looked over.”
While Williams won’t reveal which painful past belongs to whom, she says the fact that the characters are based on true life experiences, creates the actors’ deeper connection to the story they’re presenting on stage.
Williams and Griffin are looking to film “Emerge: 7 Women, 7 Stools in Los Angeles this summer. Williams says the project, however, is without sponsors and is raising money online for the project, at indiegogo.com. She is optimistic that they’ll make it happen.
“We’re going to rock L.A.”
The Center at Twenty Three-Hundred is located at 2300 Sierra Boulevard. Tickets are $37.50 and are available through a number of organizations including the National Council of Negro Women at (916) 491-6850, B.A.S.S. at (916) 421-2277, the Fred Jefferson Memorial Foster Family Agency at (916) 429-9000 and the Progressive Women of Excellence at (916) 807-6850.
By: Genoa Barrow
OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer