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CCU’s Department of Theatre presents Saturday Night/Sunday Morning Nov. 3-12

November 1, 2023
CCU’s Department of Theatre presents Saturday Night/Sunday Morning Nov. 3-12 in the Edwards Black Box Theatre.

The Coastal Carolina University Department of Theatre presents Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, by Pulitzer Prize and Olivier Award-winning playwright Katori Hall, under the direction of guest artist Dawn Monique Williams and with costume/hair/makeup design by guest artist Jerrilyn Lanier Duckworth.

The performances, featuring an all-Black cast, will be held in CCU’s Edwards Black Box Theatre on Friday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. (American Sign Language interpreted) and 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 8-10, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. Admission is $19, with CCU discounts available.

Saturday Night/Sunday Morning is set in the final days of WWII at Miss Mary’s Press and Curl beauty parlor. This social environment unites a group of young Black women whose lives have been affected by the loss of men to the war and the upheaval of social attitudes that followed.

Williams, an artist-in-residence at CCU, is a freelance director based in Oakland, Calif., who has worked at theaters and universities around the country. She admires Hall’s work and was eager for an opportunity to work with CCU students on this production.

“This play is written for a predominantly female cast, and any work of this quality that’s interrogating the complexities, the richness of the lives of Black women is really appealing,” said Williams. “Also, I enjoy working with university populations, especially when I get to work with students of color. This is an all-Black cast, so that has profound meaning for me. When I’m traveling and working with university populations, I’m often the first Black female director that a lot of students have worked with. So, I don’t take that lightly, the ability to have students know they are represented professionally in the field.”

Duckworth, costume/hair/makeup designer for the production, is also teaching two CCU theatre courses during her guest residency: Complete Stage Makeup and Hair/Wig Design for Theatre. Duckworth is founder of Bridging the Gap: A Look into African American Hair & Makeup for Theatre, with the goal of creating an inclusive environment for all performers. Through this business, Duckworth has held 200 workshops in the past four years, reaching 4,000 theatre professionals around the world. Duckworth’s designs have been on stages at the Ensemble Theatre in Cincinnati, Ohio; the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival; Indiana University; and Illinois State University.

“I focus on hair and makeup, how to match foundations to performers, what kind of hair products should be in the closet, wig prep for textured hair,” said Duckworth. “As a designer of color, I know there are a lot of questions that never get asked. People feel too embarrassed or afraid of offending someone to ask the questions. With Bridging the Gap, I feel I’ve built a culture in which it’s always ok to ask. I tell people, ‘Well-researched design leads to inclusive design.’”

Williams underscored the importance of Duckworth’s role. “For a cast of mostly young Black women to get to work with a professional who really sees them, who understands textured hair, who’s not just going to grab any wig but say, ‘Ok, let’s try to find a wig that’s more consistent with the hair that grows out of your head,’ is tremendously important. I think it sets the students up to have a better understanding of how to advocate for themselves, and Jerrilyn is an expert. It’s amazing for me to get to partner with her on this.”

Saturday Night/Sunday Morning cast members include sophomore Jayde Torres, theatre major, as Leanne; senior Teniia Brown, theatre major, as Gladys; Lauren Bassard ’23, theatre, as Miss Mary; senior Titus Parmley, theatre major, as Bobby; senior Destiny Toney, theatre major, as Taffy; sophomore Kassidy Young, theatre arts acting major, as Jackie; freshman Chloé Holmes, theatre major, as Mabel; junior Bernadette Pinckney, theatre and public health major, as Dot; and sophomore Jadin Harris, undeclared, as Buzz.