Zora Returns To Harlem ignites the spirit of Zora Neale Hurston adventurous energy in Harlem while preparing audiences to trace its roots to the famous era of the richest collaborations in African American Literature that ended in what some calls the most infamous quarrel in American Literature. The one woman play is filled with gut wrenching history about the life and times of Harlem's' Renaissance woman who came from the south with one change of underwear, one dress, and one pair of shoes and ultimately became one of the worlds famous literary genius. Starring NAACP 2007 Award Winner Antonia Badón Written by Five-Time AUDELCO Award Winner Laurence Holder 2007 Award Winner New Orleans native, Antonia Badón stars as 'ZORA' - the enigmatic writer and folklorist of the Harlem Renaissance, written by Laurence Holder.
The one-woman play (15 character portrayal) ZORA, tells the story of the legendary Zora Neale Hurston, a quintessential survival writer and Harlem Renaissance Woman. Ms. Hurston ranks amongst the most widely taught American authors. She is the center of literary study throughout the world, the first black woman to graduate from Bernard College and a (1936) recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship Award. Often labeled as one of the most gifted and prolific artists of the New Negro Movement, later to be known as the Harlem Renaissance. Zora Neale Hurston emerged from a small town in Eatonville, Florida. Through the many stages of her life, not bounded by limitations, the scenes in this fifteen-character portrayal of her life in Zora, takes place amidst a backdrop that symbolizes the dynamics in which legends are made. This play retells the story of a most interesting black woman and refreshes through the authors memories one of the most enlightening era's of our times.
"This is an important play about a giant (Zora Neale Hurston) who was far ahead of her time, and still lives through the efforts of Antonia Badon. I have seen this play three times, and still love it...This is not just entertainment, it's history! Living and live! --Richard Fewell
"It is a heroic performance by Ms. Badón, who holds the audience…included Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and distinguished editor, Les Payne - in the palm of her hand for an hour and twenty minutes...the applause was tumultuous from the packed room...a splendid evening of theater". -Playthell Benjamin (The Black World Today)
"Zora Neale Hurston legacy soared during Antonia's riveting 15 characterization" --Irma Tyus-Mitchell (Black Noir Magazine-Strokes of Genius)
"Zora Neale Hurston has never been more alive than in the soul-tingling fifteen portraits presented with respect, empathy, and boundless love, by a young New Orleans-bred actress named, Antonia Badon. Antonia shares the heart, soul, and true spirit of ZORA with such care that the pioneering and fearless writer struts right before our eyes, and we feel her in our bones; in all her charm, wit, and glory. This performance is ripe for the college circuit and anyone who believes in the power of one person to move the world!" -Richard Fewell(2000 Who's Who Among America's Teachers)
"Antonia Badon's ZORA gives us her heart and mirth. Sparking in its Simplicity!" (WHCR-radio) -Daaiya Lomaxx
"Zora Goes to Harlem, is a story that needs to be told. Badón gives a flawless performance that brings back the appreciation for black literary achievement ...a show-stopping debut at the intimate dinner theater" --Khadijah Cole
"The script, like all of Laurence Holder's plays, evokes all the important people, places and events that recreate the historical milieu in which the drama is set." - Playthell Benjamin (Black World Today)
"Brilliant, dynamic, enlightening and made me stand up and cheer... Zora is magnificent"- Anthony Whyte (SLR, Augustus Publishing)
Laurence Holder is a gifted and talented writer, actor and professor, as well as five-time AUDELCO Award winner for playwrighting. Mr. Holder is the author of the award winning plays: When the Chickens Came Home to Roost (which starred Denzel Washington) M: The Mandela Saga, Monk, Zora Neale Hurston, Red Channels, MonkNBud, and Zora! The world premiere of ZORA! starred Phylicia Allen (Gem of the Ocean). Other plays by Mr. Holder to have received award consideration are: swee'pea and the Duke, NelsonNSimone, Fagen, Zora and Langston, Man, and Woman.
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