The Justice Theater Project is continuing its new Yuletide tradition of performing shows in downtown Raleigh, NC, by presenting its second annual production of Black Nativity, a 1961 gospel song play by Joplin, MO-born African-American poet, playwright, novelist, journalist, and political activist Langston Hughes (nee James Mercer Langston Hughes, 1902-67), on Dec. 20-23 in 340-seat Pittman Auditorium at Saint Mary’s School. This year’s presentation of this joyous retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus features choreography by Chuck Davis of the African-American Dance Ensemble of Durham, NC, plus authentic African costumes, an expanded set, and new soloists.
According to The Justice Theater Project:
“Black Nativity features an African-American cast of actors portraying Mary and Joseph, multicultural Wise Men, and a chorus comprised of area singing professionals. Written by poet and social activist Langston Hughes, this retelling of the birth of Jesus according to St. Luke has been thrilling audiences since its premiere in 1961 and is a mix of poetry, contemporary, traditional and original gospel music, and African dance and drumming.
“With an ensemble of more than 50 members, The Justice Theater Project artistic director Deb Royals has included area professional singers, actors, and members of the gospel community. Connie McCoy Rogers returns as a soloist, and is joined this year by internationally acclaimed singer Rozlyn Sorrell, and musician and soloist Allen Brown.
“The creative team includes Deb Royals as director, Carolyn Colquitt as music director, Chuck Davis as choreographer, lights by Saint Mary’s School’s Mike Bianca, costumes by Deb Royals, sound by Tom Wolf, stage management by Michelle Johnson, assistant stage management by Tanner Lagasca, and scenography by Deb Royals and Tom Wolf.
“The Justice Theater Project (JTP) is an advocacy and activist theater company whose mission is to use the performing arts to bring to the fore of public attention the needs of the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed. Each year JTP presents a diverse combination of original works, main stage productions, and community outreach events focusing on issues of social justice.”
The Justice Theater Project presents BLACK NATIVITY at 8 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 22, and 2 p.m. Dec. 23 in Pittman Auditorium at Saint Mary’s School, 900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27603.
TICKETS: $25 ($20 for students, seniors, and active-duty military personnel) and $15 for groups of 10 or more.
BOX OFFICE: http://www.etix.com/ (Note 1: The Dec. 20th performance is SOLD OUT).
INFORMATION: 919/264-7089 or email@example.com.
DIRECTIONS/PARKING: http://www.sms.edu/about_sms/visitor_center/directions_to_sms/index.aspx (Note 2: Please enter the Saint Mary’s School campus through Gate 4 on Saint Mary’s St.).
Note 3: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh (http://www.artsaccessinc.org/) will audio describe the 2 p.m. Dec. 23rd performance.
Black Nativity: http://www.blacknativity.org/ (National Center of Afro-American Artists) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Nativity (Wikipedia).
Langston Hughes: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/83 (Poets.org) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langston_Hughes (Wikipedia).
Deb Royals: https://www.facebook.com/deb.royals (Facebook).
Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis: http://www.africanamericandanceensemble.org/chuck_davis.htm (African-American Dance Ensemble bio).
Carolyn Colquitt: https://www.facebook.com/carolyn.colquitt (Facebook).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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