A seven-year-old girl's world is turned upside down when her parents leave Guyana for America without her. The girl and her sister are left in the clutches of their strict grandmothers as they wait for visas to join their parents. One grandmother is a recluse; the other, a religious fanatic. When the girl is finally reunited with her family in America, she finds all that she dreamed of... and more than she bargained for.
This is the story of Demerara Gold, a one-woman play opening on Friday, October 17, through Saturday, October 18, 8:00pm, at Oxford Space, located at 138 S. Oxford Street, in Fort Greene.
Actor Ingrid Griffith said she wrote the play because she wanted to illuminate the dark corners of domestic violence, a well-kept secret in many households. Born in Guyana, Griffith draws from some of her own cultural experiences while also wrapping the story in the rarely discussed layers of Guyana's rich history.
The name "Demerara" is the Arawak word for "river." It is also the area in the Guianas on the north coast of South America which is now part of Guyana.
"Gold" is referenced throughout the show because there is a belief among the Guyanese that gold from Guyana is more lustrous than gold from any other locale, and for this reason, Guyanese men often head into the jungle seeking their fortune by mining for gold.
"The story I've written acts as an affirmation of the immigrant experience and is an education about the journey of a family," said Griffith.
"Demerara Gold reaches across generations; it also leads the audience to examine gender roles, cultures, and stereotypes, and helps them see the humanity in all of us while having a good laugh."
Directed by Margit Edwards, Demerara Gold premiered this summer at the Midtown Theatre International Festival in New York City and won an award from the Guyana Cultural Association in NY for Heritage Journalism.
"I want people to leave saying they saw something that they related to on whatever level. I want them to say the story was for real. And I want them to leave feeling inspired enough to find the courage to change whatever they may going through that is keeping them from living fully and being their true selves," said Griffith.
Tickets for Demerara Gold are $25 online, $30 (cash) at the door, and $20 student discount tix at the door (with valid id). To order tickets online, go here.