"One of the highlights of the conference was the live premiere of a play, based on research on healing from domestic violence. Ms. May’s Flowers featured Academy Award nominee Margaret “Shug” Avery in the title role; she shared the stage with up-and-coming actress Ebani Edwards."
Artistic performances helped tell stories of healing
oth days of the conference were filled with exciting and emotional artistic performances. IDVAAC goes to great lengths to incorporate song, dance and poetry into its conferences as an innovative way to share its research related to domestic violence.
One of the highlights of the conference was the live premiere of a play, based on research on healing from domestic violence. Ms. May’s Flowers featured Academy Award nominee Margaret “Shug” Avery in the title role; she shared the stage with up-and-coming actress Ebani Edwards.
Ms. May’s Flowers looks into the hearts and minds of women who have experienced domestic violence. It tells the emotional story of a young woman who is in an abusive relationship, but is afraid to leave. With the help of her caring neighbor, Ms. May, she learns that she’s not alone.
Pickett-Line Productions, comprised of husband-and-wife team Prester and Bertha Lee Pickett, was commissioned to write the play. The Picketts often collaborate on projects that have “edutainment” value, combining education and entertainment. Prester Pickett described the play as “a way to encourage a woman’s point of view from a garden that grew.”
After the play, Andrea Tribitt of Sounds of Blackness gave an inspiring performance of the song “The Path of Healing,” written specifically for the conference by Sounds of Blackness founder Gary Hines. (Two original songs written for the conference can be found on the Sounds of Blackness album, The 3rd Gift: Story, Song and Spirit.)
The day concluded with an emotional pinning ceremony during which hundreds of conference participants made a pledge to help end domestic violence and promote healing among its victims.
The conference artistic performances also included premieres of “On the Path to Healing” and “Journey to Healing” performed by Endalyn Taylor, director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School in New York, and her dancers.
IDVAAC was grateful for the “amazing” scenery for the play, as well as other conference support services provided by Executive Director Carol Williams and her staff from Interval House in Long Beach, a multicultural shelter with staff members who speak 82 languages.