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FORT WORTH, TX - Berta, Berta can be viewed streaming on-demand until June 27th on jubileetheatre.org.
Written by Angelica Cheri and directed by D. Wambui Richardson, the play chronicles how the passionate love between Leroy and Berta (Alberta) conquers over the elements of deep racism and hardcore prison life under the steamy hot days in 1920 Mississippi.
After committing a horrific crime, Leroy is granted one final wish before he’s headed to the “farm”: a chance to reunite with his long-lost lover Berta. Their love-hate, quarrelsome relationship has been constantly challenged by the gut-punching pain of dealing with Jim Crow and other obstacles. Yet, the couple fights through with a dogged determination to rise above the identity of being victims of an unequal world and the oppressing criminal justice system. Together, they defiantly open up their flaming desires and persistence to love – and love hard.
Vandrous Stripling, II plays Leroy in the Jubilee showing and Jasmine Shanise Gammon portrays Berta.
Berta and Leroy’s journey is inspired by the haunting prison chain-gang song "Berta, Berta" based on life inside the infamous and real-life Parchman Farm/Mississippi State Penitentiary, in the Delta region of Mississippi. Lyrics are written by acclaimed jazz musician Brandon Marsalis, who recorded the song in his 1992 album “I Heard You Twice the First Time.”
Berta, Berta premiered in the 2018 Contemporary American Theatre Festival and the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival to outstanding reviews. The play is part of Jubilee Theatre’s 40th Season Celebration.
Besides Berta Berta, writer Angelica Cheri is highly noted for her “Prophet’s Cycle Trilogy” plays which include The Seeds of Abraham, The Strings of White Roses, and Crowndation: I Will Not Lie to David, all of which has been performed in elite stage theatres throughout the eastern seaboard.
Stripling II is a Dallas-based award-winning actor best known for performances in Falling (2019), Snuff (2019), and The Beautiful Black Man and has worked alongside the legendary Irma P. Hall.
Gammon, a Dallas resident by way of Dothan, Alabama, is known for roles in No Future, Best Actress, and Exclosure.
“Berta, Berta” is recommended for mature adults. To gain VIP access, visit jubileetheatre.org.