Janice Honeyman feels strongly that the musical The Colour Purple, based on the classic novel by Alice Walker, speaks accurately about the black experience. Celie, a young African American girl, is the focus of a story of hardship and abuse. Honeyman, an experienced director, says the storytelling leaves no room for manoeuvre in the local production and that is what she loves best about it. The story propels the musical forward and she is intent on honouring that. The Color Purple is about people in power who feel entitled to abuse those without a voice. It’s a huge story that goes beyond gender and race and it’s a story of our time. "It’s a story of the heart that has nothing to do with separatism," Honeyman says. Mvelase’s character best embodies these dilemmas. Shug "has been rejected by her own people but through her liberation, the other women are given the key. "They don’t know how, but once Shug has their attention, men and women start relating to one another," she says. This...

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