Sankofa African American Theatre Company Presents Langston Hughes' BLACK NATIVITY

A discussion of the play led by Valerie Gray, Professor of English at Harrisburg Area Community College will follow each performance.

By: Oct. 26, 2022
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Sankofa African American Theatre Company Presents Langston Hughes' BLACK NATIVITY

Sankofa African American Theatre Company, a professional regional theatre company located in Harrisburg, PA, announces its first annual production of BLACK NATIVITY, a gospel song-play, written by the acclaimed American poet and playwright Langston Hughes with music arranged by Aaron Robinson and additional musical arrangements by Cheryl Hawkins.

Performances will take place at The West Shore Theatre in New Cumberland, PA on December 9, 10, and 11, 2022, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. 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 www.sankofatheatrehbg.com.

BLACK NATIVITY, a retelling of Christianity's 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 that incorporates folk spirituals and carols with dramatic dance and Biblical narrative. The musical arrangements by Robinson and Hawkins blend traditional songs and carols with music created specifically for the performance to form a true gospel music celebration.

BLACK NATIVITY has become a seasonal tradition since it was first produced off Broadway at the 41st Street Theatre in 1961 with music arranged by its stars Marion Williams and Alex Bradford. The production was invited to make its European debut at the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Italy to launch its successful tour of Europe, Australia, and the United States from1962 t0 1964. BLACK NATIVITY returned to New York for a run in Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center. Langston Hughes' self proclaimed "gospel musical" is one of the first plays written by an African-American to be staged in New York City.

BLACK NATIVITY is directed by Sankofa's Executive Artistic Director, Sharia Benn. I am excited to bring Sankofa's inaugural production of Black Nativity to the West Shore Theatre. This production honors the timeless work of Langston Hughes's groundbreaking play that presents the nativity story from an African American perspective through a combination of narration, dance, spirituals, traditional carols, and contemporary gospel music, says Benn.

BLACK NATIVITY is being produced by special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing Service of Woodstock, IL.




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