Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Art of The Story Makes its Its Way To “The Mango Tree”


The art of storytelling is as old as Bible Stories themselves. And it came to pass that when Beninese-American born Bibi Mama was growing up in Storrs, Connecticut she spent her early years “observing her father continue the Yoruba oral tradition through storytelling which inspired her love for acting”. According to her father, best -selling author Dr. Raouf Mamma, in a talkback after the show. ‘there was no TV, no internet, Face Book” just storytelling or folklore to make a point without hitting you over the head.

Moxie Theatre is presenting this original play  “The Mango Tree” as part of the SAY IT OUT LOUD Juneteenth Festival and the Black Artist Collective. Ms. Mama, co-directed with Claire Simba. Mama, a recent graduate from The Old Globe-University of San Diego MFA theatre program, is the solo artist who sets the mood, 

      Bibi Mama . Photo: Moxie Theatre

A young girl and her twin brother always celebrate their collective birthdays together, sharing adventures. One of their favorite things to do after their celebration, was to climb the large mango tree by the river’s edge. Although her brother is minutes older, she is the more adventurous egging him on to climb higher and higher, where she claims the mangos are best at the top. Hesitant at first, he surprises her this one day and climbs to the top sending down beautiful and ripe mangos. All is well, right?

But folklore isn’t exactly as it seems when meets the eye. In a sacred, lively and spirited performance Ms. Mama takes us through the ins and outs of lesson building, love of family, right and wrong, respect and dismay of the selfish ‘river goddess’, love and loss and caring after loved ones. It’s a story to be handed down and told from generation to generation, as did her father before her, the subtle and not so subtle. Meanie Chen Cole's sound design added a bit of adventure and mystery to Mama's journey.

The production will be streaming Friday, June 18th at 8:30, and Sat. June 19th at 6pm at for tickets.

 For more information on the Black Artists Collective go to sayitloud. 

This production was filmed on MOXIE’s stage and the recorded performance will be streamed at scheduled performance times.

Each performance includes a pre-show interview with Bibi Mama and her father who is a storyteller and inspired this show.

There are lessons we can all learn from "The Mango Tree",

 Don't miss it. 

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