Janae Burris said that although Queens Girl in the World is taking place in the 60s, it’s relevant for a 2021 audience.
AURORA, Colo. – What has happened since March 2020 reads a bit like a play. Even a fictional one. But when the actual theaters went dark and the seats stayed empty for about a year, comedian and actor Janae Burris knew it was very real.
Now, with the play “Queens Girl in the World,” she’s happy to be part of what brings people back to those theater seats.
“I hope it’s a gateway to getting back to live theater and feeling good about being with people again,” said Burris. “I just popped into this ad. I hope it feels good for people.”
In the play by Caleen Sinnette Jennings, Burris plays 13 different characters. The story is told through the eyes of Jacqueline Marie Butler, a young black woman who grew up during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The audience watches as Jacqueline grows up between the ages of 12 and 15 and meets many different people – all played by Burris.
“The script is so clear and solid that it feels really easy to jump back and forth,” said Burris of April Axé Charmaine’s play. “I wanted to do a good job, desperate, I wanted to honor the writer and the play, and I wanted to move the audience.”
Burris said although the piece is set in the ’60s, it is relevant to a 2021 audience.
“There is a moment in the piece when she reads a newspaper and learns about the four little girls who were killed in the church bombing in Birmingham. Medgar Evers dies in the game. JFK dies in the game, ”said Burris. “The father in the play is committed to social justice, and we still have that today. People are still marching. Fathers still come home grieving and angry at the way they are treated. “
But she said there are many happy moments in history – just like in life.
“Also, the nice thing about the piece is that you watch this girl grow and see more of the world and you have a little bit of hope,” said Burris.
This is the third live production at the Aurora Fox since the pandemic that closed theaters across town. The theater said this was the best received.
“I hope they look forward to getting back into live theater and I hope they look forward to getting back into the arts,” said Burris. “I hope it’s a goal to be back in the audience.”
She also hopes that there will be talks.
“I hope that our current audience, our 2021 audience, can work together – as is all of our struggle, all of our struggle,” said Burris. “That it can’t just be black people who fight for civil rights. And take action against racial injustices. It has to be everyone. “
While Burris, who now lives in Los Angeles, is in town, she will stand up in a few locations while performing on Queens Girl in the World. She will be at FlyteCO Brewing on May 5th at 8pm. She will also be on Wide Right on May 14th at 8pm
Visit the Aurora Fox website to purchase Queens Girl in the World tickets and learn more about the play.
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