BLACK NATIVITY

Written by LANGSTON HUGHES
Directed by GREG WILLIAMS, JR.

Black Nativity is a soul-stirring rendition of the Christmas Story that fills the theatre with thrilling voices, exciting dance and glorious gospel music. It is a powerful retelling of the Nativity story from an African-American perspective. The original Black Nativity was written in 1961 by poet Langston Hughes. The African-American viewpoint and gospel music make Black Nativity a unique performance piece. Often adapted, this version of the production will take the audience from a traditional black church to an Africanized Jerusalem through dance, powerful spirituals and anthems, and toe-tapping gospel numbers.

The play tells the story of Mary and Joseph's journey through song and dance, culminating in a rousing finale surrounding the birth of Christ. The importance of the play is that, though an expression of Christian belief via the African-American perspective, the show appeals to all walks of life.

PREFORMANCES
Saturday, December 17 at 7:30pm
Sunday, December 18 at 3:00pm
VENUE INFORMATION
LSU Shaver Theatre
Louisiana State University
105 Music and Dramatic Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

TICKETS
Regular Admission $32
Students with Valid It $27
Early Bird Pre-Sale Discount Until December 1 | $27
Groups of 10 or More | $22 must pre-purchase prior to performance date.
RUN TIME
Run Time: 2 Hours
FEATURING
Mary: CHRISTIAN SIMON
Joseph: BRANDON JONSON
Angel #1/Storyteller: MICHELLE DUNBAR
Angel #2/Storyteller: LATAVIA WILLAIMS-BROWN
Angel #3/Storyteller: HOPE LANDOR

Storytellers:
A’SJAH EDWARDS
ALISHA J. VALDRY
ANGELA SMITH
BRANDON JOHNSON
CHRISTIAN JONES
CHRISTIAN SIMON
CINDY BLACHE
DIAMOND KETCHENS
DWIGHT BELL
HENRY HARRIS
JASMINE OLIVER
JUSTIN THOMPSON
QUELINE KETCHENS
RAYMOND TURNER
ROSALIND REYNARD

Musical Direction MARCUS HANEY
Scenic Design GREG WILLIAMS, JR.
Choreographer CHRISTIAN SIMON
Scenic Designer AUSTIN ASCHBRENNER
Costume Designer JOE HODGE
Stage Manager KRYSTAL BLATCHER
Lighting Design PIPER PRODUCTIONS
Sound Design PIPER PRODUCTIONS
Production Manager CHRISTOPHER D. DANIEL

G-RATED SHOW
Appropriate for all ages. Everyone entering the theatre, including babes in arms, must have a ticket.
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Meet Playwright Langston Hughes


Langston Hughes wrote from 1926 to 1967. In that time he wrote more than 60 books, including poems, novels, short stories, plays, children's poetry, musicals, operas, and autobiographies. He was the first African American to support himself as a writer, and he wrote from his own experience.

Langston Hughes, whose full name was James Mercer Langston Hughes, was born in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. He was the only son of James Nathaniel Hughes and Carrie Mercer Langston. His parents divorced when he was young and his father moved to Mexico. Because his mother traveled a lot to find work and was often absent, his grandmother raised Hughes until he was 12. His childhood was lonely and he often occupied himself with books. It was Hughes's grandmother, a great storyteller, who transferred to him her love of literature and the importance of becoming educated.

In 1914 he moved to Lincoln, Illinois, to live with his mother and her new husband. It was here that he started writing poetry he wrote his first poem in the eighth grade. A year later the family relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. Despite all the moving around, Hughes was a good student and excelled in his studies. He was also good looking and popular with the other students, during his senior year at Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio, he was voted class poet and editor of the yearbook.

After high school, Hughes traveled in Mexico, Europe, and Africa sometimes by working on freighters. By 1924 he had settled in Harlem, New York, and was an important figure during the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was an African-American cultural movement that focused on literature, music, theater, art, and politics. One of his favorite pastimes was to sit in clubs and listen to the blues as he wrote his poetry.

Hughes died on May 22, 1967, in New York, NY. Some of his books for children and young adults include: Popo and Fifina: Children of Haiti, The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, The First Book of Negroes, The First Book of Rhythms, Famous Negro Music Makers and Don't You Turn Back.  

In February 2002 the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring Langston Hughes. This stamp was the 25th in the Black Heritage series and marked Hughes's 100th birthday.

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