August 14, 2022

‘Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse

‘Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years’ is currently being performed at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – The extraordinary and life-affirming play Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Emily Mann (adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth) opened Aug. 12, at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

Based on the New York Times bestselling novel, Having Our Say takes us into the trail-blazing worlds of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two real-life, civil rights pioneers. Their warm, funny, and intelligent tale is a remarkable and moving portrait of two groundbreaking women, who continue to laugh, love, and embrace life after over 100 years living side-by-side.

This Tony-nominated play begins as sisters, Sadie and Bessie (103- and 101-years-old, respectively), welcome us into their Mount Vernon home while they prepare a celebratory dinner in remembrance of their father’s birthday. Along the way they take us on a remarkable journey through the last 100 years of our nation’s history.

From post-Civil War Reconstruction through the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, their sharp memories recapture the worlds of Booker T. Washington, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Paul Robeson.

A scene from ‘Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years.’

Throughout their respective life journeys, Sadie and Bessie broke barriers of color and race becoming a respected dentist and a New York City schoolteacher at a time when America held high the potential for change and growth. Their extraordinary and inspiring lives are examples in courage and love that stand as monumental contributions to our nation’s heritage.

This poignant and touching family drama stars Catherine Williams* as Sadie and Hope Harley* as Bessie. And the Delany Sisters’ influence is not lost on them, evidenced by Harley commenting, “Much like their contemporary, Anna James, of the James Pharmacy here in Connecticut, they serve as role models even today.” Or as Williams states simply, “I am very humbled to play the role.”

The play is directed by Ivoryton Playhouse’s Associate Artistic Director Todd Underwood with set design by Martin Marchitto; costumes by Elizabeth Saylor; lighting by Marcus Abbott; and sound by Tate R. Burmeister.

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years runs through Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.; evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

The safety of its audience is the theater’s primary concern. Its capacity has been socially-distanced so that there are now only 140 seats in the theatre for the audience’s comfort and protection.

Tickets are $55 for adults, $50 for seniors, $25 for students and avalable by calling the Playhouse box office at 860.767.7318. Tickets are not available online.

Visit the Playhouse’s website for more information. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

*Denotes member of Actors Equity