FOTC SEASON 5
eLLe by Shawntai Brown in collaboration with Queer Theatre Kalamazoo
MAHALIA BY TOM STOLZ
Including music by various gospel composers as well as hymns and spirituals made famous by Mahalia Jackson, this is a joyous celebration of the life and music of the world’s greatest gospel singer: a humble, deeply religious woman whose expressive, full-throated voice carried her from a three-room shanty in New Orleans to appearances before presidents and royalty. The joy and inspiration of her heartfelt songs provide a counterpoint to the urgent messages delivered by her friend, Martin Luther King. Standing at his side, Mahalia Jackson became the musical voice of the civil rights movement.
Amazing Grace is about a little girl who loves acting out stories, those told and read to her by her grandmother as well as ones she reads on her own. She also makes up her own stories, acting out the most exciting parts. When Grace is in her play world everything to her is real. In her imagination, she becomes the characters: Anansi the Spider, Joan of Arc, Mowgli, Hiawatha. She’s a pirate with a peg leg and a parrot, an explorer, and a theater director of a production of ‘Cinderella’ in which she casts a boy in the title role. Grace’s mother is very practical and hopes that Grace will become a doctor, a lawyer or a professional person given the opportunities she herself didn’t have. Her grandmother, Nana, believes that Grace can be whatever she wants to be. Grace is told by two of her classmates that she can’t be Peter Pan in the school play because she is a girl and because she is black. In the end, Grace shows us that she can indeed do anything she sets her mind to.
NEW PLAY SERIES
“Dreamin’” by Dr. Michelle Johnson: A comedic look at the lives of three women as they navigate careers, relationships and unexplored visions
“A Ligature for Black Bodies” by Denise Miller: An attempt to confront the nation’s historical apathy through an elegiac chronicle of the indifferent, haphazard yet legal murder of Black people by the American values education taught not only to the criminal justice system, but to all of us
“You’re Gonna Learn Today” by Earlene McMichael: A journey of a teen girl whose “Black card” is questioned by her parents in a tale illuminating the intersection of class, race, cultural identity and activism.
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Black Arts & Cultural Center
359 S Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 202
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
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