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A woman’s touch runs through ‘Calling All Men’

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

“Calling All Men,” the one-woman show was only called a one-woman show because Florence “Flo” Roach was the only woman in the show with 100 men. Special to the Tri-State Defender

Ettaro Theater Company’s “Calling All Men” production opened at the Rose Theatre on the campus of the University of Memphis on Saturday night (June 18), with the audience taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions while witnessing the artistic genius of the works of Florence “Flo” Roach, writer, director and producer of the production.

Men – “good men” – are lauded in “Calling All Men,” a production by Florence “Flo” Roach and Ettaro Theater Company. (Courtesy photos)

Flo Roach is a “one-woman show” in “Calling All Men.”

“Calling All Men” celebrated men – good men. It transported the audience to church, a night club and many other gatherings to identify and applaud “good men” and salute fathers, stepfathers and all those who have stepped in as fathers. The one-woman show was only called a one-woman show because “Flo” was the only woman in the show with 100 men.

Roach, founder of Ettaro Theater Company, is a veteran actress (stage, TV and screen), playwright, director, singer, songwriter and more. She is a native of Robinsonville, Miss., and is the daughter of Katie Fletcher Roach and the Rev. J. M. Roach.

Acting came naturally for Flo. Her mother was a playwright, director, producer and teacher. Her father was a Baptist preacher.

Flo’s performances began as many performers’ do – in church and then blossomed at Jackson State College (now University) in Jackson, Miss. After graduation, she moved to Memphis and became a professional actress at Playhouse on the Square in its first production, “Godspell.” Flo performed in several productions at Playhouse and then co- founded her own theater company, Mid-American Performing Arts Workshop Theater. Mid-America was the training ground for Flo as she was forced to write many of the company’s plays because to pay royalties on published works was cost prohibitive.

For more than 20 years, she has been the playwright and director of Mississippi Boulevard’s massive production of “Umoja,” an annual production involving more than 400 actors, musicians, dancers and volunteers.

Her movie debut came in “Separated by Murder” with Sharon Gless, and she now has been seen in “Chapters,” “Black Snake Moan,” “Rise Up.” movie, “The Help.”

“Calling All Men” has received six invitations to perform the show in the near future in six cities. So it looks like Flo and crew are about to go on the road.

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