Savannah State to Present Play as Part of National Black AIDS Awareness


In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness on Feb. 7, Savannah State University (SSU) will present Plenty Good Room, the final play in the Juice trilogy, sponsored by SSU’s “Get In The Know” HIV/AIDS/Substance Abuse and Hepatitis Awareness Project.” Performances are Feb. 4-6 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. in the Kennedy Fine Arts building at Savannah State.

The play, which is free and open to the public, is recommended for mature audiences (15 and older) unless accompanied by an adult.

“The play is powerful in its message on the transmission of HIV and what we must do to stop its rapid spread among African Americans and especially young adults,” said Johnnie Dumas Myers, Ph.D., producer and project director for “Get In The Know” HIV/AIDS/Substance Abuse and Hepatitis Awareness Project” at Savannah State University.

Written by Ja Jahannes, Ph.D., a Savannah playwright and retired SSU professor, Plenty Good Room tackles life and death issues that are often swept under the rug. He says all of the Juice plays are about sex and sensibilities. In Plenty Good Room, hidden relationships unravel involving two older women, a young ‘stud’ and an old school playa’, each with opposing characteristics within them. The result is a story of tender love, misplaced trust, anger and unresolved responsibility. “Similar stories are being played out every day in our communities where the fastest growing at-risk group for HIV/AIDS is Black women 50 years and older,” says Jahannes.

Plenty Good Room is a complete student production. It is directed by Brittney Bickham, a SSU senior and veteran of The Juice Cycle. Most of the characters — Ashley Smith, Leon Hall and Ja’ohn Moore — are all Juice veterans while newcomer Jalisa Roberts makes her acting debut in Plenty Good Room. All of the cast and production crew are volunteer, upper-level students and not part of the drama program or co-curricular drama activities at the university.

According to Myers, the public was enthusiastic about the previous plays – Juice, Brothers Who’d Never Consider Suicide and Sisters Going Through, which culminated in a three-play evening at the Lucas Theater last February.

“The response increased my appreciation for the importance of theater in educating while entertaining around the devastating and misunderstood issue of HIV/AIDS,” she said.

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