The days of publicizing a theater production in the twenty first century seems to be an easier task thanks in large part to many on-line and social media sites but it has theater professionals asking themselves how do we use on-line media to cultivate a theater culture amongst Hollywood influenced Angelinos? One such theater organization may have found the answer.
Black Women State of the Union or BWSOTU began in 2007 at Company of Angels. BWSOTU was conceived by four African American actresses, Michelle Flowers, Kila Kitu, Lee Sherman, and Tamika Simpkins all of whom felt due to the political climate of the time a need arose to address the state of black women in relation to these historical changes.
Michelle Flowers says, “African American women’s stories were either non-existent or when told was so erroneous that we felt something had to be done to change the depiction of our existence.”
Promotion of the project utilized specific social media sites, theatrical alliances, and most importantly reached out personally to the targeted audience by simply asking, “What State Are You In?” This one line ignited a virtual discussion, tapping into a certain compassionate sensibility of the on-line generation resulting in people of all hues trekking miles to see works from emerging female (including one male) writers of African American descent weave the experiences of a group not often addressed in main stream media or the internet.
Kila Kitu said, “she was ecstatic the event garnered so much attention as well as received such wide acclaim from the Los Angeles theater critics.”
What is the appeal? Lee Sherman believes this event stepped out of the realm of the on-line world and into the heart of the human condition.