Thursday, December 1, 2011

Theatre Alliance hosts Black Nativity @ H St Playhouse; Pay what you can previews this wkd; Opens Monday

H Street Playhouse Theater Alliance are currently in final rehearsals of the first show of their 9th Season, Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity, a vibrant retelling ofthe Christmas story filled with gospel music, storytelling, and dance. 

Preview performances begin this weekend, and they will be Pay-What-You-Can at the door.  However, they are selling advance tickets of $20 to these performances for groups who would like to ensure their seats.  These "PWYC" performances will be at 8pm on Saturday, December 3, 4pm and 8pm on Sunday, December 4. 

The Opening Night performance and celebration will be at 8pm on Monday December 5.  The full press release on the show, which runs through the end of the month follows.

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2011
Contact: Lee Daugherty
Managing Director

H Street Rings in the Holidays with Theater Alliance’s Celebratory Production of Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity

(Washington, DC) – Rich Gospel Music.  Powerful Dance.  Theater Alliance launches Season NINE with one of the oldest stories ever re-told by one of America’s greatest poets.  Directed by Theater Alliance alum Stephawn Stephens, Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity is the first production of Theater Alliance’s 9th season.  Written towards the end of his career, legendary poet and social activist Langston Hughes has woven a vibrant retelling of the Christmas story from an Afro-American perspective with gospel music, griot-style storytelling, and dance.  Black Nativity runs at Theater Alliance at the H street Playhouse December 3-31; Wednesdays-Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 4pm.

Theater Alliance invites you on a journey to an event that took place over 2000 years ago with the birth of a child who would change the world.  With this powerhouse musical, you will experience the Nativity story in an entirely new, vibrant way. 

From the publication of Langston Hughes first poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” in 1921 until his death in 1967, Hughes celebrated the beauty and uniqueness of the African-American culture and sought to give a voice to that culture’s experience.  He actively encouraged African-Americans to take pride in their identity and would become a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance.  Black Nativity was one of the first shows written by an African-American to appear on Broadway, where it premiered on December 11, 1961. 

Artistic Director Colin Hovde says, “Theater Alliance is thrilled to bring Black Nativity back to the H Street Playhouse for a third holiday season.  The celebration of life and redemption that is at the heart of the production is a tremendously unifying experience for audiences of all beliefs and backgrounds.”  

Stephawn Stephens is joined by Musical Director Michael Terry and Choreographer Tony Thomas.  Black Nativity will feature scenic design by Klyph Stanford, lighting design by Dan Covey, and costume design by Levonne Lindsay. 

The cast for Black Nativity includes Chris DeLoatch, Ayanna Hardy, LaSharon Buttercup Johnson, Sherice Payne, Jacqueline O’Day Ellison, Krislynn Perry, Robert E. Person, Elton L. Pittman, Rafealito Ross, Tony Thomas, Keira Turner, and Melissa Victor.                                                                                                                                      

Performance Schedule
Black Nativity runs December 3-31, 2011 at the H Street Playhouse, Wednesdays – Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 4pm.  There will be no 8pm performance on December 24 and no 8pm performance on December 31.  There will be Pay What You Can Performances on December 3 at 8pm and December 4 at 3pm and 8pm. 
Recommended for audiences 8 and up

Special Events

Monday, December 5: Black Nativity Opening Night.  Kick off the holiday season with the opening night performance and celebration of Black Nativity at Theater Alliance. 

Monday, December 19: Black Nativity director Stephawn Stephens takes to the stage for a cabaret performance of gospel, standards, and Christmas songs. 

Monday, December 26:  Robert E. Person has graced the H St. Playhouse stage in all three productions of Black Nativity and is currently a Theater Alliance board member.  Join us for his holiday cabaret performance. 

Ticket Information
General Admission tickets to Black Nativity are $35.  All tickets to Black Nativity are available for purchase at or by calling 202-241-2539.  Group rates are available. 

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