Don't forget that the gospel-tinged musical "Crowns" plays its final performances at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center this weekend.
"Crowns" was written by Regina Taylor, known to TV viewers as the star of "I'll Fly Away," the award-winning PBS show about a 1950s black woman drawn into the Civil Rights Movement.
"Crowns" is also about sisterhood and cultural identity. In the musical, a black teenager named Yolanda is sent from Brooklyn to stay with her grandmother down South. There, her grandmother's friends help her discover her place in the world. The play's title refers to the significance of the beautiful hats many African-American women wear when attending church.
Sanford actress Nancy Ford plays Mabel, a preacher's wife. She understands the importance of the elaborate hats.
"We had to work so hard that we didn't dress up for anything else but church," Ford says. "That was our one time to strut our stuff, so to speak."
Ford, 58, came from humble beginnings during the days of segregation in Sanford — "I remember going to City Hall to pay the water bill, and seeing the 'white' and 'colored' water fountains," she says. Her mother was a maid; Ford became the first member of her family to graduate from college.
Ford says "Crowns" is a show about love — something that Sanford could use after the racially divisive George Zimmerman trial.
"People are frustrated, and some are angry," Ford says. "Sanford needs some healing."
Crowns will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14, 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept 15. The Wayne Densch is at 201 Magnolia Ave., Sanford. Tickets are $20-$27. Call 407-321-8111.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun