Gee’s Bend…and a Little Katrina

Av and I saw *the* best play this weekend – Gee’s Bend. It was written by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, who was raised in Mobile until she was 16. The Alabama Shakespeare Festival commissioned her to write this and also the upcoming ‘The Furniture of Home’ which is set in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

That reminds me – I was contacted earlier in February by a very nice lady, Dorothy Kendrick, who works for Louisiana Public Broadcasting. She was asking about using some of my pictures from Hurricane Katrina in a documentary they’re working on, called ‘Surviving the Storm’ (I gave her full permission to use any of my pics that would help them). They are particularly looking for pics of the Walgreens on Canal and of any Wal-Mart in New Orleans getting looted, as some of the people who were going inside were actually doctors looking for medicines for patients. If you have any pictures you think they could use, please contact her at 225-767-5660 or 800-272-8161. She is the producer of other documentaries, including ‘Katrina’s Smallest Victims’ (about expectant mothers and newborns at hospitals in New Orleans being evacuated to Women’s Hospital in Baton Rouge).

But back to the show – Elyzabeth writes in her notes in the playbill that:

“This is not a play about the quilts. Rather, the quilts become the backdrop for a much bigger journey…
…Many of the women in Gee’s Bend marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, they drank from forbidden fountains, quilted out of necessity, had chidren when they were much too young, and lived in marriages with men who were angry and overwhelmed by the world.”

Well, it is absolutely fantastic – it’s real, and it’s funny and sad and every other emotion.
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Before the show, I took this picture of the set:
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I really hope they open the show up to a broader tour so that more people can see it.

Oh! In the theater lobby, there were some books and other things by the quilters, and Av bought a baby bib they had done!! So sweet!

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