“Longtime Since Yesterday” cast, opening December 3rd at the Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Leimert Park Village, got together recently to preview their award winning play by renowned playwright, P.J. Gibson. From left to right, Trish Redford, jaymeson jiles, JoAnna Rhambo, Y’Dhanna Daniels, Petal Walker, Kiana Tavasti, and Tiffany Y. Cousin.
“LONG TIME SINCE YESTERDAY” Returns: Lucy Florence Cultural Center, December 3rd
By Francis Taylor
Sentinel Staff Writer
On December 3rd, the Lucy Florence Cultural Center will come alive with the return of the P. J. Gibson’s award-winning stage play, “Long Time Since Yesterday.” The five-time AUDELCO award winning play will run two consecutive weekends, Friday, December 3, 2010 through Sunday December 12, 2010.
“This play is for every race and gender and even though it’s written by an African American playwright and has an all African American female cast. These characters are middle-aged women, but the message is universal. There is wisdom to be shared with younger women and answers questions that men have about women.” Tiffany Y. Cousin, Director and Cast Member, said.
The intimate Lucy Florence venue will provide an excellent opportunity for the cast of eight extremely talented performers to display the full range of emotions that are part of the relationships, love, criticism, yet undeniable friendship between several black women who are re-united following the untimely demise of one of their sorority sisters.
The powerful dialogue, combined with the passionate and real-life-like performances delivered by the talented actors are sure to emote tears, laughter, joy and sadness while depicting strong yet tender, successful black women; like the mother, grandmother, or aunt that is familiar to most of us.
“This is a story about friendship, revealing secrets, female bonding, and the complexities of being professional, female, and black. I think anyone who appreciates stories about black women written by black women should come see this play. P.J. Gibson’s writing is direct, funny, witty, provocative, and raw.” Cast Member jaymeson jiles said.
Set in the mid-1980s, the play centers on a reunion of a group of middle-aged ‘Sisters’ who gather to grieve after the funeral of one of their college girlfriends. The story unfolds as the intertwined lives of these women are examined as each shares her insights into a life that ended with an unexpected suicide.
While the play does not engage in any male-bashing, it boldly confronts the issues that were prevalent in that period among black women including sex, race, politics, and gender, without flinching. The play reveals unabashedly the “strange closeness women have with women” and how it blurs the lines of the fragile boundaries between friendships and romantic love.
First staged in 1985, the play ran twice at the New Federal Theater in New York and won five prestigious AUDELCO awards, including Best Dramatic Production and Playwright of the Year. The last Los Angeles production was in 1995 and earned an NAACP Image Award for Best Director.
The play reunites two cast members, Kiana Tavasti, Co-Executive Producer, and
Tiffany Y. Cousin, Associate Producer/Director, who have produced numerous plays that highlight the stories of African American women as told by African American women playwrights. “Long Time Since Yesterday” is no exception as it is a story that not only explores the relationships between women, particularly African American women, but also reveals the complexities of being professional, middle-aged, female, and black.
“Through thick and thin, we will persevere until the end,” Cast Member JoAnna Rhambo said in describing the relationships depicted onstage. “even though there may be arguments, disagreements and even fights, in the end we realize that we are sisters.”
Cast Member Trish Redford added. “Long Time Since Yesterday” is an eye-opener. It’s full of fun and discovery. You will laugh and cry.”
Due to strong adult themes, “Long Time Since Yesterday” is open to mature audiences only. Tickets and more information may be obtained from the Lucy Florence Cultural Center, located in Leimert Park Village at 3351 West 43rd Street, Los Angeles, CA.(323/293-1356)