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Opposing views of American history, from Jim Crow to the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights

The Delaney Sisters don’t like to be called “African-Americans.”

Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson (as Bessie) and Milena (Sellers) Phillips (as Sadie)
Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson (as Bessie) and Milena (Sellers) Phillips (as Sadie)

New Village Arts’ Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years is one of that company’s best shows in its 16 seasons. Sarah L. “Sadie” and Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany don’t like to be called “African-Americans.” They are “Americans,” they say. And as of 1991, had been so for more than a century: Sadie’s 103, Bessie, who helps her older sister get around Christopher Scott Murillo’s intricately detailed set, is 101.

Having Our Say

As they prepare a meal to celebrate their late father’s birthday, the Delanys relive American history from Jim Crow to the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights. Since they are opposites — Sadie avoids conflict; Bessie creates it — they tell their tales from different, and deeply personal, points of view. And the tellers, Milena (Sellers) Phillips as gentle Sadie and Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson as volatile Bessie are first-rate-plus. They are engaging hosts, spellbinding narrators, and talented chefs, since we watch them prepare a complete dinner as they recall their last 100 years.

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, by Emily Mann, adapted from the book by Sarah and Elizabeth Delany

Directed by Melissa Coleman-Reed; cast: Milena (Sellers) Phillips and Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson; scenic design, Christopher Scott Murillo; lighting, A.J. Pauklin; costumes, Melissa Coleman-Reed; sound and projections, Melanie Chen

Playing through June 11; Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Matinee Sunday at 2:00 p.m.; newvillagearts.org

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Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson (as Bessie) and Milena (Sellers) Phillips (as Sadie)
Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson (as Bessie) and Milena (Sellers) Phillips (as Sadie)

New Village Arts’ Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years is one of that company’s best shows in its 16 seasons. Sarah L. “Sadie” and Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany don’t like to be called “African-Americans.” They are “Americans,” they say. And as of 1991, had been so for more than a century: Sadie’s 103, Bessie, who helps her older sister get around Christopher Scott Murillo’s intricately detailed set, is 101.

Having Our Say

As they prepare a meal to celebrate their late father’s birthday, the Delanys relive American history from Jim Crow to the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights. Since they are opposites — Sadie avoids conflict; Bessie creates it — they tell their tales from different, and deeply personal, points of view. And the tellers, Milena (Sellers) Phillips as gentle Sadie and Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson as volatile Bessie are first-rate-plus. They are engaging hosts, spellbinding narrators, and talented chefs, since we watch them prepare a complete dinner as they recall their last 100 years.

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, by Emily Mann, adapted from the book by Sarah and Elizabeth Delany

Directed by Melissa Coleman-Reed; cast: Milena (Sellers) Phillips and Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson; scenic design, Christopher Scott Murillo; lighting, A.J. Pauklin; costumes, Melissa Coleman-Reed; sound and projections, Melanie Chen

Playing through June 11; Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Matinee Sunday at 2:00 p.m.; newvillagearts.org

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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