Sheila’s Day (1994)

Sheila’s Day (1994) Edward Cohen

‘Sheila’s Day,’ written by Duma Ndlovu, and directed by Roberta Uno, explores the troubled race relations between white employers and black domestic employees, and the many layers within structures of power – ‘Sheila’ is the name that the rich ladies use to call their household employees, because they claim that they cannot remember the women’s names. Every Thursday is ‘Sheila’s Day,’ when the domestic workers have a day off, and the women come to meet with each other. During these meetings, it is possible to learn these women’s desires and hopes, and their belief that ‘women have the power to change the world.’ They empower themselves through music and songs that function as oral history and political language, and their dance as a means of communication and political resistance, conveying a strong affirmation of being a ‘woman’ and ‘black,’ thus a ‘black woman.’ They find strength through each other in their collective struggle for freedom - song, dance, and prayer play an important part in their bonding with one another, and this closeness is performed through voices and bodies. This video documentation also features pre-performance exercises.

icon Sheila’s Day Program (50.88 MB)


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Additional Info

  • Title: Sheila’s Day
  • Holdings: photo gallery, video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 01:29:38
  • Language: English
  • Date: 1994
  • Location: Rand Theater, Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Type-Format: play
  • Cast: Thuli/Nomathema:Rita Babihuga, Qedusizi:Dadawele Koyana, Tu:Vuyiswa Vivi Majova, Annelen/Policeman/Passbook Official: Thandokazi Mniki, Terry/Normareen/Albert Turner:Taura J. Musgrove, Gina/Qedusizi’s Shadow/Reporter/Policeman’s Shadow:Toks Olagundoye, Carla/Donna Lynn/Madam:Nkenge Atiya Scott, Ruby Lee:Nickawanna Shaw, Stephanie/Elmira:Natasha Springer
  • Credits: Written by: Duma Ndlovu, Conceived by: Duma Ndlovu and Mbongeni Ngema, Director: Roberta Uno, Scenic designer: Miguel Romero, Costume designer: Ulises Alcala, Musical director: Horace Clarence Boyer, Lighting designer: Matthew Richards, Sound designer: Will Pile, Executive producers: Julian Olf; Roberta Uno, Production manager: Kristin Brady, Technical director: Chris Higgins, Musical consultants: Tulani Kinard; Mzamo Mangaliso; Thuli Dumakude; Vuyiswa Vivi Majova, Researcher: Amy Levinson, Research assistants: Esther Brienes; Lucy Burns, Assistant Scenic Designer: Troy Hourie, Assistant Lighting Designer: Kevin Barry, Lighting Advisor: Penny L. Remsen, Stage manager: Robin Reed, Assistant stage managers: Megan Cannon; Enrique Luna-Holder, Assistant to production manager: Jennifer Silva

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