The Bowie Playhouse Theatre will be the site of a new production by playwright, Shakeia Cowan. Ms. Cowan not only wrote the play “The Delicate Flower,” but along with Assistant Director Audra Jacobs, she will be directing a cast of six—Jewel “PJ” Freeman, Kayleandra White, Kristin Michelle Young, Tiffany Dennis, Rakell Foye, and Nya-Jolie Walters. The play deals with these six “beautiful flowers” represented by shades of purple. Using poems, songs, and dance, they take you on a journey of self-discovery as a woman reflects on herself and her life. It is the hope that the production will “inspire you, empower you and encourage you to release and awaken your healing.”
Shakeia Cowan received her Bachelor of Social Work from Morgan State University and her Master of Social Work from Barry University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is a healer of the mind, body, and spirit. Ms. Cowan is also a certified massage therapist, Reiki, and Womb healing practitioner. She is trained in assisting others in their healing process with her extensive traditional and non-traditional education and practices. She lives her life with the desire of healing herself and others by balancing the mind, body, and spirit. Ms. Cowan has gone through many trials in her life, but has learned to cope, overcome, and heal from the pain through the art of writing. As a result of her own healing process, “The Delicate Flower” was born. The first show was performed in 2011 in Atlanta. Since moving to Maryland and becoming a mother, Ms. Cowan never lost sight of rebirthing “The Delicate Flower” and bringing it “home,” with the strong support of her family and unwavering determination. Her vision for this production is to be a vehicle for others to go on their authentic healing journey to be the best version of themselves.
What inspired you to write “The Delicate Flower?”
The inspiration for “The Delicate Flower” emerged from fragments of writings in my journal. I was approached by one of my elders who questioned, “When can we expect the book?” although at the time I had no clue what she was referring to. She encouraged me to gather all my writings in one place and bring it to her the following week. After she and a few others read my writings, it was made clear that it was destined to be published. With guidance and determination, I published “The Delicate Flower” in 2009 with an initial print run of 500 copies. In a matter of months, the demand called for a second printing. I am grateful that “The Delicate Flower” book has gone through five printing cycles and has reached readers in numerous states and countries.
Did you have any background in theatre either as a playwright, on stage, or backstage?
I do not have extensive experience on stage or backstage. My involvement with theatre was primarily during my school days when I participated in productions and was part of the honors chorus. However, theatre was not a serious pursuit. I was invited to a VIP meet and greet for a stage production by the name of “Shakin the Mess Outta Misery” directed by Ms. Shay Youngblood. Following our conversation, she inspired me to breathe life into the pages of “The Delicate Flower” and bring it to the stage. Despite my initial doubts, everyone that I needed to support my efforts came and surrounded me to ensure “The Delicate Flower” stage play was successful.
Did you work as a healing practitioner inspire you in writing this play?
My journey as a healing practitioner and a social worker profoundly influenced my decision to adapt the book into a play. I believe the play serves as a powerful medium of healing on the stage. The adaptation of the book was expertly crafted by Dr. Shirlene Holmes, who recently passed away.
Why did you call this production of “The Delicate Flower” a “rebirthing”?
I called “The Delicate Flower” a rebirthing because of its unique journey. The play initially took the stage in Atlanta in 2011, followed by a subsequent run in 2012, and has not been on stage since. Nearly a decade ago, when I relocated to Maryland, I knew that I wanted to bring the play back to the stage again. After years of anticipation, that aspiration has finally come to fruition. Just as I have evolved as an individual, the production itself has undergone a transformation. From inception to nurturing, the production is now prepared to captivate the world in an even more remarkable rendition.
Do you have any plans to write another play?
I do not know what the future holds when it comes to writing another play. I do know that I am committed to nurturing the journey of “The Delicate Flower,” harnessing its ability to inspire, empower, and facilitate healing. As for the creation of another play, I remain receptive to whatever the future may unveil. The past nine years have definitely given me enough material!
“The Delicate Flower” will be performed on August 19, 2023 at 3:00 and 7:00 pm at The Bowie Playhouse Theatre, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, MD 20715. Go to this link for tickets and information.