Ellipsis Tree Collective’s The Adventures of a Black Girl in search of God is a story about one women’s struggle within grief and how to hold on to her faith.
The play tells of Rainey (Janelle Cooper) who lost her baby Jainey at a young age. This overshadows her whole life. She can’t return to work as a doctor, she can’t be with her husband Michael (Christopher Clare) anymore. She can’t seem to put one foot in front of the the other. Meanwhile, her father Abendigo (Wekamot Oneka) is running an operation to ‘liberate’ black artifacts from their oppressors, otherwise known as stealing black objects from surrounding areas. He has assembled members of the church, law abiding citizens, to help him change the world. This includes Ivy (Lennette Randall), Darese (Norma Lewis), Girlene (Natasha Joachim) and Bert (Tenaj Williams).
The narrative focuses on Rainey’s journey to weather the love and loss in her life and how it overwhelmingly doesn’t seem like she can keep her head above water. She would much rather let the Creek take her away. The Adventures of a Black Girl in search of God is rooted in dealing with loss and trying to keep the pieces together while remaining true to yourself. If Rainey didn’t believe in God, there would be no problem.
The play features three singing dancers who are meant to be ancestors: Sarah Higgins, Mercy Lamola and Makambe K Simamba. These ladies are quite talented, harmonizing and weaving their way around the stage. Their voices are lovely but their movement doesn’t mesh as well with the narrative and sometimes would work better if they provided the vocals off to the side of the stage.
The story of Rainy and her struggle to accept the endings in life is a narrative that is rich and complex. It unfolds slowly, but all the loose ends tie up midway through the play. The Adventures of a Black Girl in search of God makes use of the space at the Arrata Opera Centre in a clever way and uses song and dance and a rich narrative to tell a compelling story. Loss is something that is not lost on the arts community.
Ellipsis Tree Collective’s The Adventure of a Black Girl in search of God runs only three more times. More information is available online.