In preparation for a theatre performance as a 285-year-old woman, Phylicia Rashād1 says this: “I began to watch elderly women more carefully, and I fell in love with what I saw My sensibilities about growing older changed because of performing this role. I began to feel like, if this is what it means, growing older, bring it on. Bring it on!” Performing the role of Aunt Ester in the Broadway production of August Wilson’s drama Gem of the Ocean profoundly affected Rashād. She says that Aunt Ester “is the most beautiful woman I have ever been.” For Rashād, the conscious performance of advanced age held a transformative power.


Audience Member Public Radio Beautiful Woman National Public Radio Gender Trouble 
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© Valerie Barnes Lipscomb and Leni Marshall 2010

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