In its efforts to further enhance its commitment to theater accessibility on every level of comfort, Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre reawakened its 30th-anniversary season opener to digital access, showcasing its inaugural New Voices Festival world premiere production of Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains, the third and final installment of Caleen Sinnette Jennings’s award-winning coming-of-age series.
Dexterously directed by Resident Company Member Paige Hernandez, the final play in the celebrated one-woman trilogy stars Everyman’s newest Resident Company member, Felicia Curry, who uniquely demonstrates her keen mastery of poetry, music, and dance through her dynamically relatable portrayal of Jacqueline (Jackie) Marie Butler, a young Black woman who navigates her way in a changing new world through travel and adventure interspersed with impelling interactions with colorful characters. Curry is a sheer powerhouse with her incredibly diverse range of voices and mannerisms, particularly of her scarf-donning drama professor, vocal militant stoner Sherrie, and Jackie’s sharply accented, island-born father, who introduce her to new and divergent paths.
Set on a multifunctional yet scenic stage with strategically positioned grab props and suitcases, doubling as wardrobe changers and furniture (kudos to Lawrence E. Moten III’s deft designs and Sarah Tundermann’s skilled lighting effects), the latest segment of Queens Girl begins with Jackie in Vermont, enrolled at Bennington College in 1968, as one of 12 Black students out of 500. The dozen become akin to a sorority at the prestigious school and become known as BBG (Bennington Black Girls). Curry convincingly represents each member of the close-knit sisterhood, including the notably sweet Southern Belle pre-med student, seamlessly and with remarkable precision and distinct rhythm.
Toggling between her newly unearthed rebellious streak and inherent good girl sensibilities, balancing life’s highs and lows, Curry’s Jackie consistently manages to inspire and uplift with her earnest transparency and authenticity, as she tries to find her way to understanding her purpose, her love, and offers her timely story of how she ascended during a turbulent period of protests, riots, and unrest in America — perhaps, a soulful and poignant reminder of greater moments to come for everyone.
Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.
Everyman Theatre is also offering at-home access through February 4 to the full Queens Girl Trilogy experience:
• Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains (featuring Felicia Curry)
• Everyman’s 2019 production of Queens Girl in the World (featuring Dawn Ursula)
• Everyman’s 2019 production of Queens Girl in Africa (featuring Erika Rose)
• Plus a conversation with the powerhouse women behind the trilogy, Queens Girl: An Inside Look: Playwright Caleen Sinnette Jennings, Director Paige Hernandez, and all three actors who portrayed the title character.