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Listen: The Impact of ‘For Colored Girls,’ Then and Now

The actress Adrienne C. Moore came off her seven seasons in “Orange Is the New Black” wanting to do work that makes an impact — and this fall, she’s doing it with an Off Broadway revival of Ntozake Shange’s rarely-seen, landmark theater piece, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”

Listen to this week’s podcast below:

“When you see the impact of what something [like ‘Orange Is the New Black’] can have, that’s the only thing you want to look for,” Moore said on the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety’s theater podcast. “You don’t want to do theater or television or film for the sake of just doing it because you know you’re going to make a paycheck. You want to do it because it really is art. It really is speaking something. It really is speaking a truth that may be uncomfortable for some, but also liberating for others.”

For Colored Girls” fits that bill, said Moore, who detailed both the praise and the criticism that Shange’s choreopoem stirred in its 1976 premiere. She also explained why the updated version, now playing at the Public Theater, feels just as relevant and urgent today as the original show did 40 years ago. “It’s one of those pieces that will always stand the test of time, no matter when it is presented,” she said.

Moore also aims to make an impact with her role in the new animated film “Wonder Woman: Bloodlines,” in which she’s the first African-American woman to play Etta Candy. “It’s going along that vein of: How can what I do be different and impactful and unique?” she said. “Superheroes can look like anything and anyone, and they don’t have to be just a white man or a white woman. And they don’t necessarily fly in the air! They could be someone that is behind the computers and they’re cracking codes and they’re deciphering things and figuring it out. Like Etta!”

On the new “Stagecraft,” Moore also revealed details about the one-woman show she’s creating, explained why she loves coming back to theater and shared how the memory of her grandmother is a literal presence in “For Colored Girls.”

New episodes of “Stagecraft” are available every Tuesday. Download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on Apple PodcastsStitcher or anywhere finer podcasts are dispensed. Find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

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