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"Invisible Women Melting" at Robeson's Black Box this week

"One of the wonderful things about this production," commented Jackie Warren-Moore last Saturday afternoon during a break in rehearsal, "is that it brings together women who might not cross paths with each other. There are African American women and African women and students from SU and OCC and high school and women from the community."

The first two there for rehearsal, for example, were Nora Hakizimana, a high school freshman at Christian Brothers Academy, and Alice Nzigire, an Onondaga Community College sophomore. Dr. Micere Mugo of Syracuse University's Pan African Studies had recruited both young women to the cast.

"She emailed my father," said Nzigire, "to see if I might be interested."

Juanita Perry arrived next. She works for JOBS Plus and said, "I recently realized that I want to be an actress and my husband noticed a casting call for this play, so I tried out."

Warren-Moore directs Jessica Ann Mitchell's play, which has four performances this week at the Paul Robeson Company's Dee-Davis Black Box Theater. Warren-Moore has long been associated with Robeson, one of the several entities jointly supporting this production.

Mitchell is a graduate student in SU's Pan African Studies and her play, "Invisible Women Melting," also brings together women from opposite sides of the globe, all affected by climate change. The experiences of two women -- Kamari Shumani of Tanzania and Shaqueta Jones of Atlanta, Georgia -- are set side by side on stage and alternate in a series of set pieces. These vignettes juxtapose ancient incantations to the moon with today's radio news about the strange patterns of growing seasons. Village women beat pans to mourn a miscarriage brought on by a drunken husband's beating, next to the rising price of boxed macaroni and cheese in Atlanta. As Mitchell's refrain goes, "Two women, one world."

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