“the little lady is dope”. (La petite femme est dynamique!)

Works by Mirlande Jean-gilles

You are an artist, more specifically a collage artist, when one of the most prominent playhouses in the city comes knocking.

Set decorations in stage plays can enhance the overall concept, and magnifying the entire production. When Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, there was no idea it would be in musicals, handkerchiefs and tattoos.

Mirlande Jean-Gilles

Da Vinci, an Italian had moved to France where he finished that painting. Napoleon treated it as his own treasure. It is a premier showpiece on the wall of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. The Mona Lisa is “dope” for many, she even smiled in an American commercial. I can hear the African American super balladeer, Nat King Cole sing the lines, “Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa,..Or is it your way to hide a broken heart”?

Baltimore Maryland has a little lady that is likewise “dope”. MIRLANDE JEAN-GILLES, is Haitian, French, an artist with a bigger smile than Mona Lisa, and much more talented.

When Center Stage’s newly installed artistic director, Stephanie Ybarra, knocked on Jean-Gilles door, she was not asking her to paint a backdrop for one play, but six. Jean-Gilles smile and scream  bellowed across the room.

And here are the names of the plays: MISS YOU LIKE HELL,… THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN,… MEN ON BOATS,… RICHARD & JANE & DICK & SALLY, WHERE WE STAND,… BAKKHAI.