The Colored Museum

On Feb. 16, Mercer University Theatre opened its play titled, The Colored Museum, by George C. Wolf in honor of Black History Month.

The Colored Museum was written in 1985 during the post-Vietnam War era. The beginning takes place on a slave ship which is traveling through time. The ship visits different museum exhibits, each of which displays African-American culture and history from the time they were brought to America as slaves all the way through nearly-recent times. Each exhibit displays a different event or lifestyle in different parts of the country during different eras of the African-American experience.

The Colored Museum examines the honor and desire of African-American people to escape centuries of suffering that has been a continuous source of baggage.

Mercer’s version of The Colored Museum is directed by Sherri Gilbert-Wilson. Wilson is what Mercer considers a non-traditional student, because she has already been to college before.

Wilson is a retired paralegal, who has always had a passion for theatre. She finally decided that after two children and a successful career, it was time to go back to school to pursue a degree in her passion, Theatre Arts.

For Wilson’s senior project, she decided to direct The Colored Museum because it was one of her favorite plays that highlighted the African-American experience throughout history.

“One of the reasons I love The Colored Museum is because George C. Wolfe calls on us to acknowledge our history – whatever it may be, whoever we are,” said Wilson.

“He urges us, through the play, not to allow the past to hold us back, keep us down or dictate how we will live. We must resolute enough to learn from our history, and then forge our own new paths toward a fulfilling life. There are no apologies, no excuses. Wolfe exposes the truth for what it is, and then lets the audience decide what to do with it,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s vision for the play is what was able to help her turn it into a quality production. With the help of Zach Broome, who was responsible for scenic design, and Mercer junior Alex Preston, who was responsible for lighting design, the production was brought to life through stunning visuals and dramatic lighting to make The Colored Museum a truly enjoyable experience.

The cast features Mercer undergrads, graduate students, medical school students as well as alumni. The cast members are: Omotola Ajibade, Briana Boatwright, Vanesha Brown, Thomaesa Brundage, Isaac Callahan, Katrina Croom, Ernestine Dahn, Mike Dumas, Alaisha Key, Kevin Mobolade, Marcella Murray, Alyncia Robinson, Daniel Robinson, Vernon Scott and even the director herself, Sherri Gilbert-Wilson, makes an appearance.

The Colored Museum will be playing at the Back Door Theatre Feb. 21-25 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. The show is rated M for Mature as there is strong language and sexual references. Tickets are $5. The box office opens 30 minutes prior to curtain. For reservations or more information call 478-301-2974.