for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf is Ntozake Shange's first work and most acclaimed theater piece, premiered in 1976.
It consists of a series of poetic monologues to be accompanied by dance movements and music, a form Shange coined as the choreopoem.
Subjects from rape, abandonment, abortion, and domestic violence are tackled. Each woman states where she is from, by stating they are outside their respective cities.
The lady in brown proclaims that this piece is all for "colored girls who have considered suicide / but moved to the ends of their own rainbows".
Shange originally wrote the monologues as separate poems in 1974.
Her writing style is idiosyncratic and she often uses vernacular language, unique structure, and unorthodox punctuation to emphasize syncopation. in a way that mimicked how real women speak so she could draw her readers' focus to the experience of reading and listening.
On her journey the lady in brown meets a young boy whose name is Toussaint Jones.
The lady in brown feels likes she's met her real-life Toussaint and she leaves with him. She takes "those especially schemin/ tactful suitors" to go home with her.
The poems are choreographed to music that weaves together interconnected stories.
The choreopoem is performed by a cast of seven nameless women only identified by the colors they are assigned.