Lyric Theatre presents the joyful celebration of the lives of two centenarians in its 2020 season opener next month at the Plaza Theatre.
Having Our Say, which chronicles the events in the lives of 103-year-old Sadie and 101-year-old Bessie – famously known as the Delany sisters – opens February 19 and continues through March 8 at the theatre, 1725 NW 16 St.
From the old Jim Crow South, to renaissance Harlem, and ultimately as a professional teacher and a dentist, respectively – their stories weave a rich American tapestry of lives lived triumphantly. While making dinner (live, on stage) these two African American sisters tell us of the last century as they lived it – with true stories that touch the soul and your funny bone – filled with humor, faith, love and family.
Written by Emily Mann (adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany, A. Elizabeth Delany and Amy Hill Hearth), Having Our Say will be directed by Monique Midgette, whose Broadway performing credits include The Civil War, Marie Christine and Seussical: The Musical and national tours of The Lion King and Dreamgirls.
Having Our Say stars two great American actresses, Terry Burrell and Julia Lema. Burrell’s Broadway credits include Dreamgirls, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Swinging on a Star. Lema’s Broadway appearances include Guys and Dolls, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music and Honky Tonk Nights.
Midgette, who first saw Having Our Say a few years ago, said she fell in love with the relationship between Bessie and Sadie. “Since then, I’ve lost both of my grandmothers, who were very dear to my heart,” she said. “In the Delany sisters, I see their spirit, tenacity, wit and wisdom. You can’t help but draw parallels to the everyday lives of your parents, grandparents and great grandparents in the days when America was finding itself. Through Bessie and Sadie’s laughter, pain and sorrow, we know everyone has a story to tell, and everyone’s story deserves to be heard.”
The production will feature lighting design by Fabian Garcia, set design by Debra Kim Sivigny, sound design by James Grigsby and costume design by Jeffrey Meek. Laurena Sherrill will stage manage the production, and Eli Bradley will assistant direct.
“One of the things I miss the most from my childhood is sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table, snapping green beans and listening to her talk about life in her day,” Midgette said. “That was a long time ago, and I still hold those moments close to my heart. Many years later I can also appreciate just how fast time slips away from us. Hopefully an afternoon or evening with the Delany sisters will encourage our audience to slow down and take in the colorful and poignant stories these women share over their kitchen table.”
Single tickets to Having Our Say start at just $25. For group reservations of 8 or more patrons, email Groups@LyricTheatreOKC.org. For more information, visit LyricTheatreOKC.org or call Lyric’s box office at (405) 524-9312.