Fresh off a successful performance in Georgetown, Guyana, Ingrid Griffith’s phenomenal one-woman satirical drama – “Demerara Gold” will give an audience a belly-full of laughs when she comes to Brooklyn’s St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church at 331 Hawthorne St., on Feb, 21. Show time is 3:00 p.m.
Literary writer, Lorraine Hansberry, of “Raisin in the Sun” fame, influenced the gifted artist who has thrilled audiences around the U.S, with her drama about her life – growing up in her homeland, and the United States.
Griffith relished the role she played as Ruth Young -the wife in “Raisin in the Sun”, that she said evoked family dynamics, dreams and disappointment – essential element of drama and conflict.
She then thought -“What if I write a play about an Afro Guyanese family.”
Today, Griffith, an award-winning actress and playwright, who was also moved by Anna Deavere Smith’s first solo-show “Fires In the Mirror,” is enjoying her time in the spotlight.
“Deavere Smith helped me realize what could be done with a bare stage,” said the actress, whose work was showcased in Essence Magazine, Source and New Jersey’s Star Ledger.
With a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and stirring roles as Mrs. Muller, in “Doubt” by John Shanley, and characters in the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, Griffith said it was important to showcase her autobiographical act that mirrors plays like a “View From the Bridge,” and “American Wedding” that emulate how Chinese, Polish, Iranian and Italian immigrants arrived and adapted in America.
“I thought about the many Guyanese who emigrated to this country, and yet most people I meet don’t know that there is an English speaking country in South America called Guyana, and that Guyanese have left their homeland in search of the American dream, like many other nationalities, that “make up this country’s melting pot.”
A talent to be reckoned with, Griffith, a Times Square Playwrights and American Renaissance Theater Company member, and present instructor of Theater and Public Speaking in the Communication and Theatre Arts Department of John Jay College of Criminal Justice says she hopes her story connects with those who are going through things that are hard to talk about.
“I see audience members shaking their heads in agreement when I talk about the way I stood out in America. It’s important to make positive changes. Staying silent about things that are clearly not healthy should not be an option,” she said.
“Domestic abuse, one of the themes in Demerara Gold, even though it may seem common, should not be accepted behavior,” added Griffith.