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Play showing at Hartford Stage Co. works to send messages of women empowerment and more

FOX61 sat down with two actresses performing in the play; They said they're hoping the message goes beyond the theater walls and into the community.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Friday is opening night for Pearl Cleage's "Angry, Raucous & Shamelessly Gorgeous" at the Hartford Stage Company.  

FOX61 sat down with two actresses performing in the play; They said they're hoping the message goes beyond the theater walls and into the community. 

"It's about getting older; it's about loving yourself and getting ready for the next chapter in your life," explained Shakirah Demesier, who plays Pete. 

Demesier said the play explores ambition, the generational divide, and more. Something she believes is necessary for everyone. 

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"It's important to let everyone know, not just black and brown kids, but especially black and brown kids, that it's okay to be whoever it is that you are," passionately explained Demesier. 

She said it's all about amplifying voice in BIPOC communities. 

"Black and Brown kids and adults, we're often told this is what we're supposed to be, and this is the path you're supposed to go on," Demesier explained. "What this play does is say, hey, there are so many paths it doesn't matter where you are now, it matters where you are going." 

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All the while empowering women.

"This is about women loving themselves and finding a reason to love themselves and love each other without judgment," explained Terry Burrell, who plays Anna. 

Burrell explained that the play would have a controversial collection of monologues. However, she said while it may make some uncomfortable, its purpose is to make a difference through the art of storytelling. 

"When you're telling a story that will make people think, that's always a good thing," Burrell said passionately. "When you tell a story that promotes conversation, that's a good thing. When you tell a story that challenges people's perceptions about themselves, that's a very good thing."

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Burrell and Demesier said they hope people take away something more than the playbook when it's over.  

"It is okay to be whoever it is that you are, and you're still growing and that growth is a beautiful thing," said Demesier. 

"Never judge a book by its cover, no matter what color the cover is, or the shape of the cover, or the title of the cover because you don't know everyone's story," said Burrell. 


Tickets for Angry, Raucous & Shamelessly Gorgeous are $30-$100 with discounts for youth age 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased by visiting HartfordStage.org, by calling (860) 527-5151, or by visiting the Hartford Stage Box Office at 50 Church Street, Hartford, CT from noon to 5 p.m.


To keep actors, audiences, and staff safe, Hartford Stage requires masks to be worn throughout the performance, plus proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result upon entry. For more details, please visit hartfordstage.org/covid-19.

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


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