'The Color Purple' the longest-running show at Norristown's Theatre Horizon

Shara Dae Howard
December 17, 2018 - 1:33 pm
Director of "The Color Purple," Amina Robinson

Shara Dae Howard/KYW Newsradio

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — "The Color Purple" is breaking local records as the longest-running show at Theatre Horizon in Norristown.

" 'The Color Purple' deals with the journey of Celie and her self-growth and love of herself living in a very difficult time in history," said Amina Robinson, director of the production.

An iconic story-turned American classic, "The Color Purple," based on a novel by Alice Walker, made history in 1985 on the big screen with a prodominantly African-American cast, and now the stage production at Theatre Horizon is making history again. It has been extended three times since it opened in November.

Robinson said that may be because the battles fought in the play are all too familiar — and that is reaching audiences.

"It's primarily because things haven't changed very much," Robinson said. "It's the old adage: The more things change, the more they stay the same."

In the era of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, Robinson, who is from Philadelphia, said this production may be gaining traction because the cast's interpretation is emotionally evocative and personal. The subject matter of racism and sexism is as current now as at was in the time period it represents.

"While our context is different in the world we are living in now, we are still facing the issues the characters are dealing with in this show, which spans from about 1912 into the '40s," Robinson said.

Robinson said live theater is necessary in every community and can affect real change.

"There's so much growth and healing that can happen in the arts," she said. "That's one of the reasons why, when we get into a difficult political climate, it's one of the first things that is attacked. Because they know it can have such a profound impact in a person's life and their ability to dream and believe in something."

The show will now run until Dec. 23.