TAMPA, Fla. — March is Women's History Month, and the musical "Crowns," produced by the Straz Center, is highlighting the cultural journey of African-American women.
What You Need To Know
- March is Women's History Month
- Natasha McKeller plays the singing, crown-wearing Mother Shaw in "Crowns"
- She has been acting for more than 30 years and said women haven’t always had the same opportunities as men in show business
- To help change that, she started her own production company
It focuses on the history of "church hats" and the significance behind wearing them, and we met one of the stars who showed us what wearing a crown really means.
Natasha McKeller is a director at the Boys and Girls Club by day, and the signing, crown-wearing Mother Shaw by night.
“I feel like, as women, whether we have a hat on or not, we’re constantly going and constantly doing,” she said.
McKeller is part of the female-driven cast of “Crowns” at the Straz Center, sharing a journey of African-American culture and women through hats.
A friend urged her to audition for the musical, and the crux of the show does not go unnoticed by her.
“I think of how women are the glue of the earth,” McKeller said. “They’re the glue of society — they keep everyone together, they keep everyone afloat. Without women, where would we be?”
McKeller has been acting for more than 30 years and said women haven’t always had the same opportunities as men in show business.
To help change that, she started her own production company.
“There are so many beautiful women out here in this world who are quiet because they think, 'No one wants to see me, no one wants to give me a chance,'" she said. "I created that production with the hope of, ‘I’m listening.’”
It’s a message she shares every day with her own daughter and with all the children at the Boys and Girls Club.
“Sometimes these kids just feel like they’re a number, they’re a number at school, they’re a number at testing. They’re a number of one of the siblings,” McKeller said. “I let them know that they belong.”
"Crowns" runs through March 6 at the Straz Center. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Straz Center website.