First, the play is a favorite among UpStage Theatre audiences. The company first performed it 2008, then brought it back in its 2010 and 2012 seasons.
The company will perform it again on Saturday and Sunday to raise funds for its trip to the Association of Community Theatre’s Regional 2015 AACTFest April 8-12 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The troupe will again perform Mason’s play at the festival.
“Indigo Blues” also was the play through which UpStage won first place in the Association of Community Theatre’s State of Louisiana 2015 AACTFest in Alexandria on Feb. 21 to advance to the regional competition.
Then there’s the second reason Turner chose the play. She and Mason had been friends since their college days at Grambling State University. Mason died in 2009.
“Feb. 9 would have been her birthday,” Turner says. “I wanted to pay tribute to Judi, as an artist, my friend and classmate.”
Mason’s name was honored as UpStage not only scored first in Outstanding Performance in a field of five theater companies, but received awards for best director, best actress, best supporting actor, best costumes and best ensemble. One cast member even earned a place in the competition’s All-Star Dream Cast.
So, what better way to raise money for a regional trip than to perform this audience favorite at home?
Mason once said that the story was set in the past, present and future. This statement crystalizes at the end of this story of two middle-aged sisters who are in love with the same man.
Their names are Clara, played by Telisha Diaz, and Muriel, played by Myesha McGarner. They live in the home of their late parents, and Clara once was married to a bluesman named Moses Britton — played by Byron Wade — the love of Muriel’s life.
Now it’s 30 years later, and Moses has returned to the sisters’ south Louisiana home to attend their brother’s funeral. He also hopes to make amends with Muriel, who once sang lead in Moses’ band.
But Muriel’s parents didn’t approve, so she quit to take care of them and teach school while Clara ventured out into the world.
Resentment smolders in the sisters’ household. Clara lived the life of which Muriel dreamed, even married the man Muriel loved. This is the one remaining constant in Muriel’s life — her love for Moses.
This run marks Wade’s second time playing Moses. Diaz also is a veteran of this story, though she played Muriel in the 2012 production.
If the company wins first place in Albuquerque, it will advance to the national festival in Grand Rapides, Michigan, June 23-28.