PHOENIX — Taking to the stage for Women's History Month! The Arizona Theatre company is hosting a historic production.
The story of Nina Simone, a 20th century icon of American music, who was deeply affected by the experiences of Black people during the civil rights movement is about to come to life inside Phoenix's Herberger Theater.
"I think the magnificent thing about Nina Simone is she found a way to deliver message and not apologize for it,” said Actress Deidra Grace, who portrays Sarah.
Sarah is one of the four women featured in Simone's song, ‘Four Women,' representing black stereotypes in society. She's a wife, mom, maid, and spiritual woman.
The character Saffronia, who is mixed race and feels like she doesn't belong, also hits the stage.
The actress says she can relate.
"There is a huge complexity as being someone who is mixed race. But, we are still treated with the same treatment as any Black woman no matter what we look like,” said Actress Katya Collazo.
'Nina Simone: Four Women ' taps into Nina, as she shifts her career from artist to activist, following the 1963 bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.
"I hope the audience or people who have never heard of Nina Simone find out a little bit of the truth she stood for and what she told,” said Actor/Music Director Dante Harrell.
For Nina, the director believes, it was all about being heard.
"It's not about being seen. It is not about the gloss of the product. It really is about her message and waking people up to make them see themselves and see each other,” said Director Tiffany Greene.
Opening night is Saturday, March 26, 2022.