Silhouette of a Silhouette: Wilbury in the shadows

Weaver of tales

The Wilbury Theatre Group presents the world premiere of Silhouette of a Silhouette by RI icon Rose Weaver and directed by Don Mays. Based on Weaver’s life, with threads of magical realism, Silhouette of a Silhouette is a story of redemption and hope inspired by loss, and told through music, song, and artistically expressive scenes — the story of a family struck by tragedy — a how-to for picking up the pieces in order to move forward.

We’ve been fortunate to have Weaver here in RI, her second home to Atlanta, GA where she grew up and currently resides. Weaver began her career at Providence’s Trinity Repertory Company in 1973 as an acting fellow. An award-winning playwright, Weaver is the author and actress of the one-woman play Menopause Mama and Black Women Taking Off the Masks. She received a recent Papitto POC award to write a play about slavery in RI. Rose is published in Monologues for Women by Women, Heinemann, and NuMuse: An Anthology of Plays from Brown University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brown University at the age of 50, and holds three Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degrees from Wheaton College, Marymount Manhattan College and Providence College.

“Rose Weaver is one of our state’s most treasured artists and it’s always a joy to work with her, especially on this personal story,” said Artistic Director Josh Short. “Rose has been part of sharing so many stories with the people of RI for decades, and it’s a privilege for us to kick off the Wilbury Group’s twelfth season by sharing hers.”


Rudy in Silhouette

Weaver’s deeply personal story takes us back to a time where the remnants of slavery live on, overshadowing the ghosts of past and present. “This semi-autobiographical story reveals how my late brother saw the Devil while hallucinating in the woods of Georgia,” she explains. “He seeks redemption for his poor life choices. Told through humor, rousing songs, spoken word and southern mythology, Silhouette of a Silhouette is a mini saga of a family’s painful struggle out of cycles of self-destruction and an attempt at deliverance.”

The cast is small but glowing. Notable performances include Rudy Cabrera as Bobby, giving a powerful performance, artistically moving and deeply-rooted in pain. He emulates his father’s (Daddy Lewis, skillfully portrayed by Jomo Peters) domineering racketeering lifestyle in a sensitive way, yet still as q silhouette of his dad. Brianna Rosario as Doleful Creature and Helena Tafuri as Dog Ghost symbolize the proverbial angel and demon over one’s shoulder as they jockey for position to taunt and claim souls. Veteran Wilbury thespian Jason Quinn as Prosecutor (and Reverend) wows us with his stern lectures and smilingly forbidding opinions.

Simple set design by Max Ponticelli enhances the ambiance and does not distract from the action, making you feel as though you’re a part of it. ​Light and sound design by Andy Russ reflects the feel of the scenes and moves with the characters, both living and other-worldly. Costume Design by Jaimy Escobedo emphasizes the persona of each character, whether straightforward or risqué.

Show runs Sep 30 – Oct 16, Wilbury Theatre Group at WaterFire Arts Center. Adult content and strong language. Production Photos by Erin X. Smithers

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