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Waco Civic Theatre ends Black History Month with production of 'Having Our Say'

The play shares the true stories of two African- American centenarian sisters who broke barriers as they witnessed history from the late 1800s to the late 1900s.

WACO, Texas — Waco Civic Theater is ending Black History Month with "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years", a play that follows the lives of two African-American sisters in their 100s.

The show is based on the real-life stories of 103-year-old Sadie Delany and 101-year-old Bessie Delany. 

"They tell the stories these really fascinating stories about their experience in American history. They literally lived 100 years and watched how this country was shaped and molded throughout history. They are one generation away from slavery," Director George Donaldson said.

Donaldson said the sisters were trailblazers and civil rights activists. Sadie Delany became the first female African-American teacher in the New York education system. She taught math. Meanwhile, according to Donaldson, Bessie Delany became the first African- American dentist in New York State.

"These two strong women have gone through a lot of trials ups and downs good and bad, but they continue to be positive in their community and continue to be leaders. And they always strived to improve themselves," Kay Bell who plays Bessie said.

Donaldson said the play reminds him of stories his grandmother used to tell him growing up. He called "Having Our Say" an oral history of sorts.

"This is a history play that I like to call it. We can really learn by watching a play like this. But we can also grow to know a little bit more about ourselves as well," Donaldson said.

The play is done in what's called theater in the round meaning the audience surrounds the stage. Donaldson said this makes the performance a little more intimate.

"Having Our Say" has three more performances Friday, Feb. 24th, Saturday, Feb. 25, and Sunday, Feb. 26. You can purchase tickets here.

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