By Sharin Hussain
An actress from Tulse Hill has co-produced a new virtual audio production of the literary classic The Color Purple.
West End actress Malinda Parris has joined forces with American Broadway star Joey Stone to create The Color Purple Audio Experience: A Benefit for Black Womxn which premieres today.
The Color Purple Audio Experience tells the story of a young girl named Celie who gradually gains self-respect as she strives to educate herself and find love, despite an abusive spouse and a world that punishes her for being born Black and female.
Ms Parris said: “We want to give the listener’s a personal experience with Celie and her journey that you don’t get through the visual.
“You allow your imagination to be the stage. “
Ms Parris and Mr Stone co-founded OurSomewhere Digital Productions in 2020, without having met and living across the world from each other, during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement to help actively support their creative black peers.
The concept for this production was conceived on the popular voice-based social networking app, Clubhouse, which speaks to OurSomewhere’s ethos of using technology to revolutionise storytelling.
Ms Parris is a fan of the audio medium, saying: “One of the other things that I think is brilliant for artists, in terms of audio, is that you’re not judged by your appearances.
“We get rid of those barriers that stop a person of colour, or how they look from getting the part.
“You may not look the part but maybe you sound the part. So, it’s just creating another avenue for artists to be able to shine.”
The book was originally set in the 1900’s, but The Color Purple Audio Experience is using its core themes to explore modern-day conversations around race and gender-based violence.
Mr Stone said: “We were frustrated as Black actors who continue to find ourselves typecast because of our bodies or our skin tone.
“Even in all Black shows, most of which are written by white writers, there are distinctions of body shape and skin tone that limit the already few roles Black actors are offered.”
All proceeds from The Color Purple Audio Experience will be donated to three US, two UK, and one South African charity to provide support to Black Women in countries where the cast members reside.
The charities are Black Girl Smile, Girls for A Change, Womankind Worldwide, Colours Youth Network, A Long Walk Home, and POWA.
The Color Purple Audio Experience will be available until December 6, 2021.
To find out more, visit https://www.thecolorpurpleaudiox.com
Pictured: Actress and Co-Producer, Malinda Parris
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