Sept. 20 – Oct. 13, 2019
Ladies Swing the Blues
A Jazz Opus Folklore in the Key of Swing
Book and Original Lyrics by Thomas W. Jones, II
Original Music by William A. Knowles
Four Jazz Icons Gather in the famed Jazz club BIRDLAND in 1955 to celebrate the recent passing of one of the greatest jazz musicians Charlie Parker and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his premature death..Billie Holiday,Sarah Vaughn , Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald and the legendary Charlie Parker inhabit this musical journey chronicling the lives of the most influential musicmakers of the 20th. century; .and the conspiracy to silence them. LADIES SWING THE BLUES is a 20th century musical odyssey that sings. swings. confesses the deep truths deeply rooted in the musical landscape of jazz and blues.
Nov. 15 – Dec. 8, 2019
August Wilson’s Two Trains Running
This is the 1960s chapter of the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright's decade by decade saga of ordinary African Americans in this turbulent century. It takes place in Memphis Lee's coffee shop in a Pittsburgh neighborhood that is on the brink of economic development. Focus is on the characters who hang out there: a local sage, an elderly man who imparts the secrets of life as learned from a 322 year old sage, an ex con, a numbers runner, a laconic waitress who slashed her legs to keep men away, and a retarded man who was once cheated out of a ham. With Chekhovian obliqueness, the author reveals simple truths, hopes and dreams, creating a microcosm of an era and a community on the brink of change.
"Wilson has written roles for actors to love, complete with riffs and full blown emotional arias." - New York Newsday
"The most comic of the Wilson cycle so far." — The Christian Science Monitor
"Wilson's most delicate and mature work." — Time
"Wilson's most adventurous and honest attempt to reveal the intimate heart of history." — The New York Times
Jan. 17 – Feb. 9, 2020
By Charly Evon Simpson
Jump is about flickering lights, vapes that fall from the sky, old homes, and a young woman who finds solace on a bridge. Judy is a millennial who is coping with the death of her mother. Fay engages in typical sibling rivalry. Grief, Suicide, and mental Illness are at the forefront of this narrative as the women navigate through the past and present. Their grieving father finds solace in the bottle as he stumbles at his attempts to reconcile with his daughter.
Semi-Finalist, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship, 2017
Gripping, Powerful, and timely, it is one worth watching and experiencing from beginning to end… Triangle Arts & Entertainment
March 13 – April 5, 2020
The Dance on Widows Row
By SammArt Williams
SammArt Williams hit comedic play, depicts four wealthy widows Magnolia, Annie, Simone, and Lois invite the area's four most eligible bachelors to an intimate soiree for eight. Having already buried nine husbands altogether, they know that neighbors' tongues will wag like the tail of a starving dog with the key to the butcher shop; but they are willing to defy town mores and endure vicious gossip if there is a chance that they will meet “Mr. Right” tonight. The Dance on Widow's Row is a light comedy about death, dating and superstition - - or, more specifically, about how hard it can be for a woman to get a date after she's buried a few husbands.
May 1 – May 24, 2020
Bubbling Brown Sugar
Concept by Rosetta LeNoire
Book by Lofton Mitchell
Bubbling Brown Sugar tells the story of Harlem in its Golden Years. Taking many of the great songs from the era, Loften Mitchell weaves an ebullient tale of a time gone by. This musical, which started a whole wave of Broadway shows by and about black composers, had its beginnings at Rosetta LeNoire's Amas Rep. It then moved on to a lengthy run on Broadway, London's West End, and both national and European tours.
“… [a] really fizzy musical revue … recreates the night life of the 1920s — when they drank ‘scotch in teacups’ and bathtub gin — and the 1930s, from downtown speakeasies to the Savoy Ballroom and Small’s Paradise uptown … the songs here are standards, not only extolling the oeuvres of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Eubie Blake, among others, but also epitomizing their essence. Finally, the finale, ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing,’ which is performed by the company, is fabulous.” —Alvin Klein, The New York Times
Scratch Night at the Robeson showcases the works- in- progress performances in theatre, dance, music, poetry, comedy, storytelling, indie-films, most all disciplines by artist who wish to present their creative work in a live entertainment setting. Dialogue between artists & audience after each presentation
$5 Cover Charge
See past performers Above.
Made By a Black Hand
Artisan Speaker Series
Support area artisans as they showcase
their creative process, explain how they
live off their craft, discuss the power of the
black dollar and so much more.
Vendors are welcome!
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Jump by Charly Evon Simpson
Directed by Paulette D. Harris
Photo Gallery by Marcus T. Thompson Jr.
The Dance on Widow's Row
Directed by Paulette D. Harris