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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook) and @thewritepen (Twitter). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Crowns" Performance at Morgan State University

This afternoon, I attended the Crowns Performance at the Murphy Fine Arts Center - Gilliam Concert Hall at Morgan State University with the mentoring program. The play runs from April 8th - 10th and appeals to a very wide audience. Crowns by Regina Taylor is adapted from the photo anthology book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. In 1998, North Carolina photographer Michael Cunningham began taking pictures of women in their hats. His friend, journalist Craig Marberry, thought they should put together a book of the photos and the stories behind them as he was curious why so many African-American women wear flamboyant hats to church.

Crowns, a church musical tells the story of six African-American women through the hats they wear to church. Taylor who adapted the story onto the stage tells the stories of these women over the course of a Sunday. We, the audience get to see the women getting ready for church, attend a morning service, a wedding, a funeral and a baptism. Five of the older women are joined by a visitor — a younger woman from Brooklyn who was sent down to the South to stay with her grandmother after her brother was killed. While there, she watches her grandmother interact with her church friends as they engage in the ritual of preparing for and going to church. The young woman also begins to get a better understanding of the African tradition of covering one's head and she experiences a spiritual journey along the way.

The performances by the actors and singers including the Singing Sensations Youth Choir were superb. While I enjoyed the stories the women were telling, I couldn't take my eyes off the church hats that they would constantly change into throughout the play. These hats were in different shapes, colors and sizes. Some were very elegant, brightly colored with sequins, very flamboyant with wide brims adorned by feathers, and others were less flashy and perfectly matched the outfits the actors were wearing.

I'm a lover of hats, but I can't say that I own such flamboyant ones...maybe one day! Anyway, please enjoy some of the hats I photographed on my way out of the play.


  1. I love hats too, unfortunately I haven't found one that actually looks good on me....YET...but I'm still on the hunt!

  2. Hi, B Swangin Webster! I love hats and I've been lucky to find a few that's been just right for me. And yes, you will find yours too :)