Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage

Arena Stage presents BORN FOR THIS: THE BeBe Winans STORY, the heartwarming true story of six-time Grammy Award-winning icon BeBe Winans' journey to fame. BORN FOR THIS, directed by celebrated director and playwright Charles Randolph-Wright (Motown The Musical), is a co-production with the ALLIANCE THEATRE in Atlanta, Ga., where the production ran April 13-May 15, 2016 prior to the Arena Stage production. The new musical, which officially kicks off Arena Stage's 2016/17 season, features original songs and Winans family hits, with a book by Randolph-Wright and Winans. BORN FOR THIS runs now through August 28, 2016 in the Kreeger Theater. BroadwayWorld has photos from the opening night festivities below!

In BORN FOR THIS, Detroit natives BeBe and Cece Winans, youngest siblings of the Winans family dynasty, experience the ultimate in culture shocks when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's television show Praise the Lord. The Winans teenagers become not only television celebrities, they also become like adopted children of the Bakkers, integrating TV evangelism. As BeBe and CeCe encounter fame, fortune and even a young Whitney Houston, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with his true calling.

As previously announced, leading the cast as BeBe and Cece Winans are Winans family members and accomplished performers Juan Winans and Deborah Joy Winans. Juan is a Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter and his sister Deborah Joy is currently filming Greenleaf, the OWN original TV series for which BeBe is an executive music producer.

Featured in the cast are Charlotte, N.C.-area favorite Chaz Pofahl as Jim Bakker and Kirsten Wyatt (Broadway's A Christmas Story The Musical) as Tammy Faye Bakker, as well as Kiandra Richardson as Whitney Houston, Nita Whitaker (Pasadena Playhouse's Breaking Through) as Mom Winans, Milton Craig Nealy(Broadway's Motown The Musical, Arena's Akeelah and the Bee) as Pop Winans, Dyllon Burnside (Broadway's Holler If Ya Hear Me) as Michael Winans and Howard,Desmond Sean Ellington as Carvin Winans and Alvin, Brad Raymond as Ronald Winans and Michael Stiggers as Marvin Winans. Also in the cast are Nick Morrett as Bob, Alison Whitehurst as Penny and D.C.-area performers Kurt Boehm (Arena's Fiddler on the Roof) asJimmy Ray and Gracie Jones (Signature Theatre's Beaches) as ensemble.

The creative team for BORN FOR THIS includes Choreographer Warren Adams, Music Supervisor Donald Lawrence, Music Director Steven Jamail, Set Designer Neil Patel, Tony Award-winning Costume Designer William Ivey Long, Lighting Designer Diane Ferry Williams,Sound Designer Jesse Stevens, Projection Designer John Narun, Copyist Britt Bonney, Stage Manager Kurt Hall and Assistant Stage Manager Kristen Mary Harris.

Tickets for BORN FOR THIS are $50-99, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.

Photo Credit: Cameron Whitman

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Cast members Deborah Joy Winans and Juan Winans

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Collaborators BeBe Winans (book, music & lyrics) and Charles Randolph-Wright (book, director)

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Marvin Winans, collaborators BeBe Winans (book, music & lyrics) and Charles Randolph-Wright (book, director) and choreographer Warren Adams

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Co-writer and director Charles Randolph-Wright, choreographer Warren Adams and music supervisor Donald Lawrence

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Cast member Juan Winans and his daughter

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Collaborators BeBe Winans (book, music & lyrics) and Charles Randolph-Wright (book, director) with Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Director Edgar Dobie

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
BeBe Winans with his niece and nephew, cast members Deborah Joy Winans and Juan Winans

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Choreographer Warren Adams, BeBe Winans (book, music & lyrics) and associate choreographer Brian Harlan Brooks

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Cast members Dyllon Burnside, Desmond Sean Ellington, Michael Stiggers and Brad Raymond

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Cast members Deborah Joy Winans and Kiandra Richardson

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Cast members Deborah Joy Winans, Kiandra Richardson, Alison Whitehurst, Nita Whitaker and Gracie Jones

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Cast members Milton Craig Nealy and Nita Whitaker

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
The company of BORN FOR THIS: THE BeBe Winans STORY at Arena Stage

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Cast members Chaz Pofahl and Kirsten Wyatt

Photo Flash: BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY Celebrates Opening Night at Arena Stage
Cast members Juan Winans, Deborah Joy Winans, Kirsten Wyatt and Chaz Pofahl



Regalitos Foundation & Brevard Music Group Presents Jimmie Vaughan & The Tilt-A-Wh Photo
Regalitos Foundation has announced Jimmie Vaughan & The Tilt-A-Whirl Band coming to the Space Coast at the King Center for the Performing Arts!

Interview: Cheryl L. West & Kenneth L. Roberson Explain the Story of SHOUT SISTER SHOU Photo
As Ford’s Theatre gears up for the spring 2023 musical, SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!, director Kenneth L. Roberson and playwright Cheryl L. West had a conversation with Director of Artistic Programming José Carrasquillo.

Review: GISELLE at Opera House/Kennedy Center Photo
What did our critic think of GISELLE at Opera House/Kennedy Center? Giselle, like Hamlet for actors, Carmen for mezzo-sopranos, and Mrs. Lovett for musical theatre singer/actors of a certain age, brings audiences to the theatre to get to know the skills of the latest acclaimed ballerina. (Previous Giselles include: Makarova, Fracci, Julie Kent, Gelsey Kirkland, Alonso, Markova, Misty Copeland, Fonteyn, Virginia Johnson, Pavlova.) Ukrainian-Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, former director of the Bolshoi Ballet, current artist in residence for American Ballet Theatre, soon to be artist in residence for New York City Ballet, has brought three ballerinas to dance Giselle with a company of exiled, excellent Ukrainian dancers to the Kennedy Center through February 5.

News: CREATIVISTS IN DIALOGUE: A Podcast Embracing the Creative Life is Now Live on Substa Photo
A new local podcast, Creativists in Dialogue: A Podcast Embracing the Creative Life, launches February 1, 2023, at Creativists.substack.com. Supported in part by a fellowship to producer Elizabeth Bruce from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Creativists in Dialogue features thoughtful, in-depth interviews with people from all walks of life about the role creativity plays in shaping who they are. 


More Hot Stories For You


Regalitos Foundation & Brevard Music Group Presents Jimmie Vaughan & The Tilt-A-Whirl Band At the King Center Studio TheatreRegalitos Foundation & Brevard Music Group Presents Jimmie Vaughan & The Tilt-A-Whirl Band At the King Center Studio Theatre
February 3, 2023

Regalitos Foundation has announced Jimmie Vaughan & The Tilt-A-Whirl Band coming to the Space Coast at the King Center for the Performing Arts!

Studio Theatre Announces Cast For Lynn Nottage's CLYDE'SStudio Theatre Announces Cast For Lynn Nottage's CLYDE'S
February 3, 2023

From March 1-April 9, 2023, Studio Theatre will present a new production of Clyde's, the 2021 comedy by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and contemporary American theatre icon Lynn Nottage. Nottage's work comes to the Studio stages for the first time in this wry and wistful show, which a recent nationwide survey by American Theatre magazine found to be the most-produced play in the United States this season.

Moisés Kaufman & Amanda Gronich's HERE THERE ARE BLUEBERRIES is Coming to Shakespeare Theatre CompanyMoisés Kaufman & Amanda Gronich's HERE THERE ARE BLUEBERRIES is Coming to Shakespeare Theatre Company
February 1, 2023

Shakespeare Theatre Company will present a new work this season from multi-Tony nominated Moisés Kaufman, Amanda Gronich, and Tectonic Theatre Project (The Laramie Project, I Am My Own Wife): Here There Are Blueberries.  

Mazin Akar, Neagheen Homaifar & More to Star in SELLING KABUL at Signature TheatreMazin Akar, Neagheen Homaifar & More to Star in SELLING KABUL at Signature Theatre
January 30, 2023

Signature Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for the play Selling Kabul, written by Sylvia Khoury.

Photos & Video: First Look at RIDE THE CYCLONE DC Premiere at Arena StagePhotos & Video: First Look at RIDE THE CYCLONE DC Premiere at Arena Stage
January 27, 2023

Get a first look at photos and video of the DC Premiere of Ryde the Cyclone at Arena Stage!