BLACK NATIVITY Comes to the West Shore Theatre in New Cumberland in December

Performances run December 1-3.

By: Nov. 29, 2023
BLACK NATIVITY Comes to the  West Shore Theatre in New Cumberland in December

BLACK NATIVITY, a Gospel musical, written by American poet and playwright Langston Hughes will be presented by Sankofa African American Theatre Company at the West Shore Theatre in New Cumberland, PA on December 1, 2, and 3, 2023, with performances Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., and matinees on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. The music is arranged by Aaron Robinson with additional musical arrangements by Cheryl Hawkins the production’s musical director. Sankofa’s Executive Artistic director, Sharia Benn, is the stage director. A discussion of the play led by Valerie Gray, Professor of English at Harrisburg Area Community College will follow each performance. For tickets to BLACK NATIVITY, visit

BLACK NATIVITY, a retelling of the Nativity story, is an expression of playwright Hughes’ interest in African American spirituality and the oral traditions of the African American church. The Christmas story is set to jubilant Gospel music, and incorporates both dance and Biblical narrative. The musical arrangements by Robinson and Hawkins blend folk spirituals, traditional carols along with music that was specifically selected for the performance forming a true Gospel music celebration. 

BLACK NATIVITY has become a seasonal tradition since it was first produced off Broadway with music arranged by its stars Marion Williams and Alex Bradford. Langston Hughes’ self proclaimed “gospel musical” is one of the first plays written by an African-American to be staged in New York City. 

Sharia Benn, the play’s director, states, “I am excited for the opportunity to stage Sankofa’s annual production of BLACK NATIVITY. This production honors the timeless work of Langston Hughes’s groundbreaking play that presents the Nativity Story from an African American perspective,”.