olored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf
for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf is Ntozake Shange's first work and most acclaimed theater piece, which premiered in 1976. It consists of a series of poetic monologues to be accompanied by dance movements and music, a form Shange coined as the choreopoem. for colored girls... tells the stories of seven women who have suffered oppression in a racist and sexist society. As a choreopoem, the piece is a series of 20 separate poems choreographed to music that weaves interconnected stories of love, empowerment, struggle and loss into a complex representation of sisterhood. The cast consists of seven nameless African-American women only identified by the colors they are assigned. They are the lady in red, lady in orange, lady in yellow, lady in green, lady in blue, lady in brown, and lady in purple. Subjects from rape, abandonment, abortion and domestic violence are tackled. Shange originally wrote the monologues as separate poems in 1974. Her writing style is idiosyncratic and she often uses vernacular language, unique structure, and unorthodox punctuation to emphasize syncopation. Shange wanted to write for colored girls... in a way that mimicked how real women speak so she could draw her readers' focus to the experience of reading and listening. In December 1974, Shange performed the first incarnation of her choreopoem with four other artists at a women's bar outside Berkeley, California. After moving to New York City, she continued work on for colored girls..., which went on to open at the Booth Theatre in 1976, becoming the second play by a black woman to reach Broadway, preceded by Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun in 1959. for colored girls... has been performed Off-Broadway as well as on Broadway, and was adapted as a book (first published in 1976 by Shameless Hussy Press), a 1982 television film, and a 2010 theatrical film. The 1976 Broadway production was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play.