SCENE & HEARD// Sanaa Lathan Channels Black Actresses of Yore in “By The Way, Meet Vera Stark” [VIDEO]Published by Justin D Joseph on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm.
(New York, NY) Sanaa Lathan’s starring turn in the premiere production of Lynn Nottage’s “By The Way, Meet Vera Stark”, has been getting rave reviews. Her latest forray onto the stage—her last noted stage performance being “A Raisin in The Sun”—is a welcomed departure from the roles that have made her a favorite in the black community.
Directed by Jo Bonney, the comedy, takes a serious in-depth look at the plight of black actresses during the studio system of the 30’s and 40’s: Relegated to playing the roles of domestics—sometimes uncredited for their work.
This play manages to give a rounded sense of humanity to the legacies of legendary actresses Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly McQueen and Theresa Harris—of whom the fictional character of Stark is mirrored after—who paved the way for actresses of color, yet are in reality unsung pioneers.
Check out “A Leading Lady in a Maid’s Uniform: A Closer Look at The Belle of New Orleans“, a mockumentary centered on the fictional Vera Stark.