Arts & Entertainment

“Having Our Say” Brings 100 Years of History to Stage

Having Our Say tells the real life stories of the Delany sisters, played by Lisa Hill-Corley (left) and Ayesis Clay (right). (Photo: William Gallagher)

“Now, no pressure, but this performance has gotten a standing ovation every single night,” joked Laura Connors Hull, the producer of “Having Our Say” at Creative Cauldron, before the show began.

After more than a year and a half of being unable to hold live performances, Creative Cauldron returned to kick off their 2021-22 season with “Having Our Say,” a play based on the true stories of the Delany sisters, two inspiring Black women who lived to be over 100 years old, living through many events in our history.

The play invites the audience right into the home of the sisters, who share their history for two hours.

While the play only consists of one set and two actors, the audience is immediately drawn in through the way the actors interact with the audience, the use of a projector to show pictures from the events being talked about in between scenes and the fascinating stories being told.

Sadie Delany, played by Lisa Hill-Corley, was born in 1889 and died in 1999, living to be 109 years old. Bessie Delany, played by Ayesis Clay, was born in 1891 and died in 1995 at the age of 104.

The sisters share their stories on everything from being the daughters of a formerly enslaved man to the Civil Rights Movement and their work in activism and more.

And just as Hull suspected, a standing ovation was given at the end of the performance.

The theater has also been working hard in order to ensure the safety of both the actors and patrons during the pandemic. When purchasing tickets online, attendees are automatically socially distanced from those outside of their group. Additionally, proof of vaccination must be shown upon entry and masks must be worn at all times inside the theatre.

Creative Cauldron has also been working hard to keep their theater a safe, diverse and inclusive space.

“We will also re-imagine our work through a new anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens and develop policies and programs that speak to our values,” said Hull in the Playbill for the show. “Opening our season with ‘Having Our Say’, seemed like the right play for our times. Hearing the incredible stories of resistance and resilience of the Delany Sisters, is truly inspiring. But their stories also remind us that in some ways, little has changed. We must find a way to do better as a country, a community, and as individuals to stamp out racism.”

Additionally, the theatre partnered with Meridian High School on this production, bringing a shortened version of the play to the school for students to watch followed by a discussion about the piece.

This production was absolutely incredible and a must-see for all ages.

“Having Our Say” will run through October 31 and takes place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at Creative Cauldron’s next production will be “Aesop’s Fables” which runs from November 5 — 21.