Two theater professionals are paving the way for other women of color

Two theater professionals are paving the way for other women of color


Maya J. Christian and Ashani Smith both deeply appreciate theater and have an even deeper appreciation for their representation in the industry. 

Having grown up in Charlotte, both returned home recently for the Blumenthal Performing Arts’ run of “Jagged Little Pill,” a two-time Grammy Award-winning musical based on Alanis Morissette’s music and the Diablo Cody novel of the same name. 

“Jagged Little Pill” is a coming-of-age story about Mary Jane Healy, a seemingly perfect suburban housewife wrestling with opioid addiction after being in a car accident. Mary-Jane has an adopted daughter, Frankie — a Black girl — with whom she struggles to connect. 

The musical also follows other themes like sexual assault, sexuality, and marriage.

Smith works as a stage manager on the show, while Christian acts as a “swing” in the musical, an ensemble member who also fills in for other cast members if they cannot perform.

While both love the theater, they understand the importance of representation on and off the stage. 





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