GUTTA BEAUTIFUL does not offer easy answers. There are no mythic heroes here. Instead, it provides a raw and honest depiction of our ordinary and spectacular lives, and the most gutta and beautiful circumstances we all choose to live.
Written by Nina Angela Mercer | Directed by Eric Ruffin
GUTTA BEAUTIFUL is a multi media, interactive stage play which takes place in the contemporary urban hyper-reality of the nation’s capitol, and tells the tragic and comical love story of Lola, born to Mama Say (an ancestral spirit and guide who lives by the power of food and its preparation), and Papa G (an energetic, cosmic force, who is both trickster and surrogate father to the “word” and its myriad deeds). After her birth into womanhood, Lola meets Mike, a lyricist and seeker inside life’s circumstances, while hanging out on the block with her best girlfriends, Suga Sweet and Orchid.
Together, Lola and Mike dare to make it beyond mere survival in the bitter sweet landscape of Gutta Beautiful, a contemporary urban obstacle course where choices often find them confronting the haunting history of enslavement and imperialism embodied by the alluring and ever-changing Aunty Sam, as well as Aunty Sam’s contemporary masks – the harsh realities of the drug trade economy, violence, and the capitalist demand for consistent cash flow. For Lola and Mike, their home, Gutta Beautiful, becomes a political battle-ground where the most common and innocent choice to fall in love and raise a family is a revolutionary act with no easy path to victory. Though Mama Say and Papa G provide some ancestral guidance, it is ultimately a battle Lola and Mike must wage with the power of their own imperfect wills.
GUTTA BEAUTIFUL does not offer easy answers. There are no mythic heroes here. Instead, it provides a raw and honest depiction of our ordinary and spectacular lives, and the most gutta and beautiful circumstances we all choose to live. Lola finds herself in this journey, and so does Mike. They, along with Suga Sweet and Orchid, are our mirror reflections, asking us to discover our gorgeous imperfections toward a potential shared space of discovery and transformation.
*Eric Ruffin received his BFA in Directing from Howard University and received training for the MFA in Directing from Rutgers University. He directed the critically acclaimed New Jersey premier of Susan Lori Parks “TopDog/UnderDog.” He has also directed for productions at numerous off-Broadway and regional theater venues. Eric is also the recipient of the Princess Grace grant for Dance.