5 Stars For 4 Female Pioneers Involved in Debuting “Let The Good Times Rolle”, Broward’s First Ever Drive In Play

Expansion On The Frontier With Crystal Chanel

Jordan and Foster

In celebration of Women’s History Month, as a tribute to the many talents of Emmy Award-winning actress and Pompano Beach native Esther Rolle, the original play Let the Good Times Rolle: The Life and Legacy of Esther Rolle at 100 was the first of its kind. Dubbed the first socially distanced drive-in, outdoor event, 4 Broward women had their BIG BOSS GIRL energy on full display. Held at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC), located at 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County attendees had a chance to enjoy the legendary story of Esther Rolle on the big stage while watching safely from their vehicles.

Makiba Foster, AARLCC library regional manager, was a driving force in bringing the story of Esther Rolle to the theater. Foster was backed by Set Producer Belvit Jordan, Graphic Artist Erin Daniels, Writer Sarahca Petterson, and Video Producer Denise Simmons.

In an effort to ensure that the good times did roll, Makiba Foster planned a play production dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Esther Rolle over a span of a few nights. The community shared flyers and videos on social media for months to show their excitement and involvement.

Erin Daniels worked endlessly designing graphics and animated content for the casts, directors, and writers to share with their social networks. Daniels is the creative genius behind most of the graphics released by AARLCC and should be saluted for her ability to produce eye catching marketing visuals time and time again.

Video Producer Denise Simmons with Simmons Productions was thrilled to capture the Let The Good Times Rolle; The life and Legacy Of Esther Rolle at 100 Virtual birthday Experience back in November 2020. Accordingly, we see Simmons intentionally using her voice and platform to highlight the legacy of Pompano born actress and activist, Esther Rolle.

To create a foundation upon which all of these would build, one of the Playwright Sarahca Petterson rose to the occasion when commissioned to write a play that would honor a community of writers and history lovers for generations to come. “I am about legacy building, telling the untold stories of Black Women and celebrating Queens, especially those that hail from small towns like me,” says Petterson.

“As a team member at AARLCC under the leadership of Makiba Foster, I wanted to enhance her vision and make it magical and larger than life. I wanted to change the game with real theatre outside!”, reports Belvit Jordan. Belvit Jordan’s eclectic energy for all things epic has been unparalleled with AARLCC since 2001 while working at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center. Jordan is accredited for giving experiences to some of AARLCC most historical events and programs, like Grand Opening for the Library 2002, the Fifth Year Anniversary and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hip-Hop Music Conference.

Makiba Foster, Erin Daniels Belvit Jordan, and Sarahca Petterson should be etched in Broward history and celebrated as the ladies that brought the Esther Rolle play to Historical Sistrunk. In this season, may we be reminded to accredit and acknowledge the achievements of our sheros. They make it possible to preserve Black women history on and off the stage.

Crystal Chanel

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About Carma Henry 18957 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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