Womanifesto Recap

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My Womanifesto production at The Playground Theater on yesterday was simply AMAZING!  I’m not just saying it because it was a Felicia T. Simpson Productions show — ok well I am, but seriously, these women did not come to play with us!

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This production was inspired by Robyn Durham who was also in my Love ‘Em All Monologues back in November 2016.  One day in rehearsal, Robyn was just chatting off to the side with me about what she goes through in the acting industry as a plus size woman.  So me being the writer, instantly jumped on the idea of doing a set of monologues all about stories from other plus size women.  I can not tell you how each woman who auditioned has truly changed my views and the audience on how society views plus size women.

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Now back to the recap…… my beloved sister, Crystal Iris was definitely a great M.C.!!!! She had us laughing and no doubt chile she made sure we noticed those S-E-X-Y legs of hers as she ripped the runway for us.  Everyone knows I love a great party with food and adult beverages, so know that my productions are exactly that — A MUTHAEFFIN PARTY!!!!!!!

Theater is all about entertainment so no matter what topics are discussed in my productions, you will be entertained.  There’s never a good party without food, so we had food catered by the wonderful Mellynda Williams of Simple Sensations.  Mellynda makes dishes and fruit trays during our rehearsals and the day of the show.  Her services are GREAT and my favorite, AFFORDABLE!!!!!!  She made some jerk sliders and let.me.tell.you.something……… chile, those were so delicious!!!!

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Let me tell you about these beautiful ladies (l-r) Tatiana Griffin, Quanteisha Carter and Jenine Carter, who are related by blood.  Beyonce and Rihanna don’t have nothing on them because they were FRESH off the runway and gave us serious body as they modeled.  I was in the sound booth dancing and having a good time.  Jenine came out in one scene to the song Fine by Mary J. Blige and she rocked a MJB look that had the audience up on they feet and dancing their chairs with her.

The one thing that I love about these women were only ONE of them is a professional actor, they were simply women sharing their stories and they did an awesome job!  My prayer was for NEW doors of opportunity will open for them because they stepped out on faith and told their most intimate and private stories, to a room full of people and that is not an easy thing to do for everyone.

So after the performances and the models did their thing, my favorite part of the show was next, CURTAIN CALL.  LOL I get excited about the END of a production because that means that another dream of mine has successfully manifested.  During curtain call, I highlight everyone in the production individually and I always give my ladies their flowers while they are still here.  I allow them to shine by updating everyone on new things that they are doing or apart of and the services they provide to help them network (I’m a die hard networker).  Finally, I get my chance to announce everything that’s coming up as far as new productions and anything with me personally.

I announced a million times that I had “one more announcement” like they do in church lol and that announcement was that Tatiana, Jenine and Quanteisha had the most ticket sales so they each won a free spa day with……ME!!!!!

I then closed out the show with an after party per the usual.  I dj’d while we cleaned up the aftermath.  The attendees got their dance on and continued to P-A-R-T-Y.

NEXT UP: is my NEW play KARMA on May 21, 2017 at 3pm at the Playground Theater…. you do NOT want to miss this show!!!!  I’m playing the role of Keisha the crazy bartender so come check us out.

If you came to see Womanifesto, comment your favorite part(s) of the show.

Bad Feminist Book Review

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Books are often more than not just books” – Roxanne Gay

In the beginning of this book, Gay defines feminism – of course she does.  How else could we capture what the premise of what the book is really about?  I was then provided with a list of what I like to call “Girl, get your life” for women who think that they can’t be friends with other women…..that is insane.  I instantly became Roxanne’s bff when she mentioned our beloved Sweet Valley High twins, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield.  Chile, I wanted to go out and buy the whole series all over again to read and relive my teenage years. As Gay dedicated a couple of pages to help me understand feminist even more.

While reading this book, one day I walked into my favorite Irish pub downtown, Tilted Kilt, and it was an abundance of titties walking around, that prior to reading this book, I guess I had not paid much attention to.  These women were walking around smiling at me dressed in lingerie on the eve of Valentine’s Day, while the men were probably having all kinds of inappropriate thoughts – fully dressed!  Their costumes were the typical sexiness of the Irish but because V-Day was nearing, the women were dressed in all alluring hues of pinks, reds, white and black lingerie.  Mainly parading around in bras, laced panties, heels and some type of sheer covering to show some type of class I presume.  I couldn’t even order a drink without starring at the titties because just as Roxanne, I’m a Bad Feminist too #DontJudgeMe.

Why do I bring this story up?  Well this book made me become more aware of myself and how history has shown me during my time on earth, the multiple ways that I’ve interacted with other women.  I felt more like I had just tipped a stripper at King of Diamonds and not simply leaving a tip for a great waitress/bartender with excellent customer service at the end of my meal at Tilted Kilt….. minus her lingerie, the waitress/bartender was great.

Sometimes, people are unable to recognize happiness because all they see is darkness.

In like any other friendships, my new bff can’t be great at everything.  Gay, ruins for me a lot in this book, many details of potential books and movies that I would have read or gone to see.  She gives a lot away in this book with nothing much left for readers to get from the books and movies she critiques.  I’m not sure if that’s just her being a critic or if she gets off in seeing some darkness in others.  Then, we almost mentally had a fight in my mind when she dedicated a whole chapter in her essays about my mental mentor, Tyler Perry.  I had to have a drink just to read her critics about my mentor, Tyler Perry, although we have never met —- yet!

Writing is cheaper than therapy” – Roxanne Gay

I almost jumped out of my seat when I read that line!  I spend an estimated $100 monthly on books that gives me all of the therapy I need (in addition to reading my bible and praying daily – back up off of me super Christians – I too believe the bible is the greatest book written).  In this book, you will definitely find nuggets of wisdom such as this quote above from various topics in life other than quotes for us writers.

I absolutely LOVE her choice of words in this book.  Gay says things such as, “More troubling though, is the suggestion that somehow reality should be sanitized for teen readers.” Without spoiling the book for you readers, I’ll just say here that she was speaking on how teens are basically exposed to sexuality as adults but yet books written for them, tend to not discuss sex or writers cleans sex up in their books, extensively, similar to something being sanitized…..see GREAT choice of words.

The titles of her chapters in this book are catchy:

  • Dear  Young Ladies Who Love Chris Brown So Much They Would Let Him Beat Them
  • The Trouble with Prince Charming…..
  • Surviving Django

I honestly didn’t understand what being a Bad Feminist was until the end of the book and by then, my brain was simply tired of memorizing the “do’s” and “don’ts” of being of a good feminist.  Books are always good at the end so there’s no surprise here.  Please, please get this book and let’s have a discussion on it.  I love women (especially authors) who don’t always go with what society says is the norm and instead utilizes their own common sense, thoughts and opinions to better serve mankind.

Are you a Bad Feminist?  Let’s talk about it!!!!

My List of #BlackHistoryMonth Instagram Honorees

February is #blackhistorymonth so I decided to do something different this year, on social media, specifically on Instagram, as I pay homage to those who have paved the way for me and for so many others.   I decided this year to honor, daily, African-Americans that were/are writers, novelist, essayists, poets, directors, producers, etc……. all things that I continue to aspire to be great at doing.

I enjoy learning the background of those who I look up to in this industry of creativity and social justice.  Here’s the list of the African-American men/women that I will be I posting on my Instagram (feliciatsimpson):

  1. Phyllis Wheatley
  2. Tyler Perry
  3. Nikki Giovanni
  4. Sunny Patterson
  5. August Wilson
  6. Shonda Rhimes
  7. Alice Walker
  8. James Baldwin
  9. Jacqueline Woodson
  10. Eric Jerome Dickey
  11. Lee Daniels
  12. Gwendolyn Brooks
  13. Terri McMillan
  14. Toni Morrison
  15. Ava Duvernay
  16. Ntozake Shange
  17. Maya Angelou
  18. Devon Franklin
  19. Spike Lee
  20. Malcom D. Lee
  21. Kimberla Lawson Roby
  22. Zora Neale Hurston
  23. Langston Hughes
  24. Zane
  25. Robert Townsend
  26. John Singleton
  27. Keenan Ivory Wayans
  28. The Hughes Brothers

 

 

F.T.S. Upcoming Productions

Felicia T. Simpson Productions, is proud of our second and third quarter productions for 2017.  Womanifesto and the play, Karma, will be a treat to everyone in attendance.  The cast for both productions are a mixture of beginning to intermediate actors which is pleasantly a new experience for myself as the director and producer of each show.

In Womanifesto, the script is not my writing for once but entirely the words of the cast.  Which is new for me (I just had the tasks of transcribing the stories and formatting the script).  The play Karma, is a story inspired by the lyrics to the song written by one of the lead male actors in my play, John Edward Allen.  I have had fun creating and developing these stories within both productions and can’t wait for the audience to come out and have a great time at the Playground Theater.

I recently became one of the board members of the Playground Theater as the Mosaic Resident Producer and it is an honor to continue to bring diverse and culturally competent stories, to the theater.

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MARCH 19, 2017 AT 3PM….Womanifesto monologues are a collection of stories that plus size women face in society. These stories are meant to bridge the gap between society and how it views women, no matter their size. This production also seeks to embrace women who may struggle in certain areas in their life because of their weight. In between each monologue, will be a mini fashion show that highlights fashion and beauty for plus size women.

Purchase your tickets here: Womanifesto

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MAY 21, 2017 at 3PM…..Karma is a play about a love triangle amongst a young married couple with comical twists from their best friends. This is not your typical love triangle because the roles have been reversed and friendships are truly tested in this production.  I am always happy to work again with Gerald Banton who plays Max, Sherell Brown who plays Lexxie and Shakira Reedus, who plays Stephanie.

Purchase your tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2831245

NOTE: The Playground Theater is a BYOB establishment for persons at least 21 years of age and who drink responsibly.  The theater and the productions staff, has the right to refuse any persons from consuming alcoholic beverages that does not meet the requirements. 

Bookies Books Finds

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This past Friday, I had a little down time, so naturally I logged online to search for the nearest bookstore because my current reads were getting low (even for me), and I needed to restock my book list, immediately.  I came across Bookies Books right off the corner of 95th and Western Ave., (next door to the 7 Eleven).  This bookstore sells new and used books and I will be back to visit real soon.  Here’s the books I picked up during this trip:

The Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay $15.99

The Dew Breaker Edwidge Danticat $6.48

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes $8.00

Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan $7.50

Mama by Terry McMillan $7.00

 

Everyday is a Friday Journal

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Everyday is a Friday Journal

How to be Happier 7 Days a Week

by Joel Osteen

I purchased this book a while ago but never took the time to read it and actually apply the journal prompts, daily scriptures and other things to consider, until now.  I am always looking for great devotionals to help get my days started cause as a woman, with a busy schedule, I need additional support and guidance, along the way.

I purchased this book for $4.98 and here are the seven weeks that this book will cover over a 7 week period:

  • Week One: Don’t Give Away Your Power
  • Week Two: Know What to Ignore
  • Week Three: Live Without Crutches
  • Week Four: Travel Light
  • Week Five: Laugh Often
  • Week Six: Be a Dream Releaser
  • Week Seven: Celebrate Yourself

 

What journals, or devotionals are you reading and writing in this week?