Stark Reality

Octavia Spencer, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2011 for The Help, recently went on record saying that there are still too few good film roles for black women. It’s not that big a leap from 1930s Hollywood, the setting for By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, whose Arizona première is on Friday, August 22.

The 2011 comedic work is the first offering from playwright Lynn Nottage since winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009 for Ruined. In it, we follow the life of Vera Stark, an ambitious black actress making the most of bit film roles in the 1930s while working as a maid for a Hollywood starlet. Her success eventually causes trouble in more ways than one.

The iTheatre Collaborative production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark opens at 8 p.m. at Herberger Theater Center. Performances runs through Saturday, September 6. Tickets are $20. Visit or call 602-252-8497 to purchase tickets or for more info.

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 24, 2 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 28, 8 p.m. Starts: Aug. 22. Continues through Sept. 6, 2014