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Zora Returns

Spring 2012

The one women show, Zora Returns, captures the life and times of the legendary Zora Neale Hurston;

Written by Laurence Holder

Performed by Antonia Badon.


The one woman play captures the story of the birth of Harlem’s roaring 20’s & the life of Zora Neale Hurston. The play takes you on a journey of a small town southern girl who longed to go to school and embraced her financial disparities by enrolling in high school with one change of underwear, one dress, and one pair of shoes. January 1925 with $1.50 and a dream Zora moved to Harlem and became the first black woman to study at Barnard College and Columbia University, rose to fame as a writer, helped pioneered the literary movement, secured a Guggenheim Fellowship Award to study in New Orleans, Haiti, Jamaica and throughout the gulf coast and ultimately became one of the world’s greatest literary genius.

Often labeled as one of the most gifted and prolific artists of the New Negro Movement, later to be known as the Harlem Renaissance. Zora Neale Hurston emerged from a small town in Eatonville, Florida. Through the many stages of her life, not bounded by limitations, the scenes in this fifteen-character portrayal of her life in Zora, takes place amidst a backdrop that symbolizes the dynamics in which legends are made. This play retells the story of a most interesting black woman and refreshes through the authors memories one of the most enlightening era’s of our times. The scene opens with a young woman resembling a child who hasn’t quite overcome adolescence, but who develops a keen interest to attain an education in lieu of the racial disparities that plagued African Americans. All of the factors contributing to the fourteen year old character of Zora allude to her having a tumultuous childhood and relying on those instances to design her future. Working odds and end jobs to finance her move and education, it is now revealed that this small time girl from Florida would soon become a trailblazer on the campus of Howard University.

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Antonia Badon

Actress, writer and producer, owner of dovetails studios. On Camera Acting Techniques Coach (Commercials,TV/Film)

Antonia Badon speaks about  Zora Returns; “Zora is an encouraging play that allows its audience to go on a journey that has forever shaped our history. Recognizing her zest and unique insight for life, Zora was summoned to Barnard University where she met Professor Boaz, who intrigued her interest in African-American Anthropology.
Witness the past, the present, and the future of a writer who helped transform Harlem’s economic structure with the launching of the first black literary work “Fire.” With the gift of story-telling and the ability to soar beyond the highest of heights, ZORA reached her apex and discovered her potential as an anthropologist, essayist and contributor to various projects with her “colored” contemporaries Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Wallace Thurman, Alain                                                                                               Locke, Dubois and Garvey.”

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Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature. Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and has influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison and Alice Walker.

Performance dates and times:

  • May 3 2pm and 8pm
  • May 4 2pm and 8pm
  • May 5 2pm
  • Ticket prices: No cost