September 11 is a special day in the hearts of many. With many commemorations taking place across the nation, the Triton Museum of Arts Free Friday performance featured the Tabia African-American Theatre Ensemble, whose poems, upon which many of their featured songs are based tell stories that both inspire and lift souls and hearts above tragedy.
Now in its 30th season, the name Tabia comes from Swahili, and means “talented.” That definition is evident in the group’s soul-stirring and thoughtful performances. The group shows a cohesiveness in their performance that comes from working together over decades. Viera Whye has been with Tabia since its founding and serves as the group’s Artistic Director. The longevity shown by Tabia demonstrates what is possible when everyone works together for a common goal – in this case, producing high quality and thought-provoking shows that offer messages of hope and foster positive relationships of understanding and acceptance for everyone. Whye explained many of the songs performed are based upon poems, some written by members of the group and others by noted poets. One piece performed was based upon Langston Hughes’ poem, Life is Fine. Another, Black Hips, was written by Whye’s niece. “Poems are heart-touching. Both life and performances are a struggle – the fact we’re still here is a statement of that. We work with children using this art to make the world a better place,” said Whye.
For more information on Tabia, visit their webpage, sjmag.org/tabia. For more information on the Triton Free Fridays program, please visit their webpage, www.facebook.com/tritonfridayperformances. Next month, the Triton Free Fridays will feature the California Youth Chinese Symphony, on October 2 at 7:30pm. The performances are open to every one of all ages and are completely free.