Bailey’s ‘Summers in Suffolk’ enjoying LA run

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 25, 2003

Margaret Windley

Special to the Suffolk-News Herald

Sheri Bailey’s series of six one-act plays, &uot;Summers in Suffolk,&uot; returns to the West Coast this summer. The playwright’s work will be presented at the Towne Theatre in Los Angeles, California from May 23 to June 22.

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Californians who saw the 1997 premiere of the plays in Los Angeles will be re-introduced not only to several generations of Bailey’s fictitious Clark family in the dramas, but also to the Dismal Swamp, which almost takes on a supernatural presence in the play.

&uot;By placing it on the edge of the Dismal Swamp, the swamp almost becomes a supernatural character,&uot; said Bailey. &uot;People run away to it, meditate there. It’s a recurring theme throughout the play.&uot;

She added that she had poured into &uot;Summers in Suffolk&uot; all of the myths and stories that she had heard about the swamp.

But she has also has made her goal as a dramatist to break new ground in terms of dealing with the culture of African Americans.

Bailey’s own childhood summers were spent in the Driver/Shoulders Hill region of Suffolk with her father, Russell Hurdle.

&uot;The characters are fictitious,&uot; said Bailey, whose home church is Union Baptist. &uot;But the backdrop is local history.&uot;

She is making plans to film &uot;Summers in Suffolk&uot; when she returns to the area this summer.

Bailey, who is a resident of Portsmouth, has written several other plays and is the founder of the Juneteenth festival.