SARAFINA! Set for Mann's 2016 Young People's Concert Series, 6/14

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts will present the musical Sarafina! to kick off the Mann's 2016 Young People's Concert Series on June 14. This special performance, presented by the Mann, Howard University's Department of Theater Arts and NEWorks Productions, is a musical inspired by the 1976 Soweto Student Uprising, when more than 10,000 South African youth boldly defended their right to an education that affirmed their cultural identity and heritage. Now, 40 years later, the inspiring story of these brave South African students comes to life on the Mann's main stage in this production by Howard University. Sarafina! is Directed by Eric Ruffin with choreography by Jakari Sherman, the book, music and lyrics are by Mbongeni Ngema and arranged by Mbongeni Ngema and Hugh Masekela.

Sarafina! is part of the Mann's five-month, community festival, Firebird: Spirit Rising, which celebrates the human spirit's boundless capacity for good, imagination, creativity and freedom. Part of the Mann's 40th Anniversary season, the festival expands the creative boundaries of the Mann's educational programming into the community through an imaginative series of artistic initiatives presented in partnership with leading academic, civic and art institutions. The festival will culminate with the North American premiere of Firebird: Reimagined on July 20 featuring The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Cristian M?celaru; multi-Grammy-winning, South African vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo; and larger-than-life puppets inspired by the artistry of the Broadway sensation War Horse and created by Janni Younge of South Africa's renowned Handspring Puppet Company.

Sarafina!, like all of the Mann's Young People's Concert Series performances, is free and open to the public. The series presents performances from across genres motivated by cultures from all around the globe. From classic ballet ensembles, to urban hip-hop moves, to original poetry performances, each concert is designed to inspire and excite young audiences through diverse, artistic productions.

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