Dec. 4–20, Phoenix’s Black Theatre Troupe presents “Black Nativity,” a musical celebration of the story of the Nativity. Based on the Gospel of Luke, the play combines scripture, music and dance with the writings of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes to deliver a powerful message of hope and joy.
Directing “Black Nativity” is Walter Belcher, who has performed at regional theaters nationwide and in concert halls in more than 20 countries. Choreography is by Kenyata White, who in addition to being a choreographer is also a singer, songwriter, recording artist, dancer and author. Musical direction is by Anthony Cowan, and musical supervision is by Jennifer Robinson.
The cast of “Black Nativity” includes Ebony Green, Ivan Thompson, Tashiana Gayles, Saint Ranson, Renee Francois, Sarah Leonard, Tyra Young, Nancy Taylor, Brittanee Perkins, Joia Cook, George Johnson, Janelle Jones, Joseph Woodruff and Roosevelt Watts II.
The musical, which Langston referred to as a “Gospel Song Play,” was first performed in New York in 1961, then ran at President Kennedy’s International Jazz Festival and later at the Festival of Two Worlds at Spoleto, Italy. Since its debut, it has remained an international success.
Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 602-258-8129. Performances take place at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St. in Phoenix, Arizona.