2018/2019 MAINSTAGE SEASON

 

FENCES

written by August Wilson

directed by Tony F. Sias

September 27 – October 21, 2018

Jelliffe Theatre

 

August Wilson’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning masterpiece opens the 2018-2019 season!  A gripping family drama about Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro baseball leagues who now works as a garbage man in 1957 Pittsburgh. As a black man excluded from the major leagues during his prime, Troy’s inner conflicts take their toll on his relationships with his wife and his children as they look for their own chances to fulfill their dreams.  Part of Karamu House’s 2018-2019 Social Justice Series.

 

 

 

DAY OF ABSENCE

written by Douglas Turner Ward
directed by Nathan A. Lilly

October 25 – November 18, 2018

Arena Theatre

 

A Reimagined Classic. A one-act satire about an imaginary Southern town where all the black people have suddenly disappeared. The only ones left are sick and lying in hospital beds, refusing to get well. The Mayor sends a national plea for the blacks, “wherever they are,” to come back. In the end the blacks begin to reappear, as mysteriously as they had vanished, and the white community, sobered by what has transpired, breathes a sigh of relief at the return of the rather uneasy status quo.   Part of Karamu House’s 2018-2019 Social Justice Series.

 

BLACK NATIVITY

written by Langston Hughes

directed and choreographed by Reggie Kelley

November 29 – December 30, 2018

Jelliffe Theatre

 

A Karamu Classic. Langston Hughes’ famed retelling of The Nativity Story, performed in a gospel style, and including popular Christmas carols.

 

 

A Double-Bill: “Two by Tennessee”

27 WAGONS FULL OF COTTON

+

THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED

both written by Tennessee Williams

February 14 – March 10, 2019

Arena Theatre

 

27 WAGONS

Set during the Great Depression, in the midst of the oppressive Mississippi Blue Mountain summer heat, business has not been going well for a cotton gin owner and his young wife.   In a desperate attempt to rescue himself from his financial woes, he sets fire to his neighbor’s thriving plantation. Unable to prove the act of arson, the neighbor seeks revenge in the most unconventional of ways.

 

THIS PROPERTY

A chance encounter between two young people along a Mississippi railroad amidst the Great Depression leaves them both exposed in ways unimaginable.  The young woman’s passionate account of her fragmented family somehow captivates the nervous young man’s curiosity, leaving him wanting more than just a little conversation.

 

 

 

THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN

written by Eric Coble

March 28 – April 21, 2019

Arena Theatre

 

80-year-old Alexandra finds herself in a showdown with her family over where she should spend her golden years.  Armed with enough Molotov cocktails to take out the entire neighborhood, she is determined to remain in her Brooklyn brownstone...by any means necessary.  Her estranged son Chris, tumbles onto the scene becoming an unlikely and ill-equipped mediator.  Wonderfully touching and wickedly funny, this story touches on a sobering dilemma faced by families every day.

 

 

 

ELTON JOHN & TIM RICE’S AIDA

book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang

directed by Tony F. Sias

May 23 – June 16, 2019

Jelliffe Theatre

 

An epic tale full of passion, loyalty and betrayal.  Enslaved Nubian princess, Aida, finds her heart entangled with an Egyptian soldier who is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter.  As their forbidden love blossoms, she must decide if she will give in to her heart’s desire or rise up to be the leader her people need her to be.  Featuring a Tony Award-winning score written by Elton John and Tim Rice, this rock musical based on the Giuseppe Verdi opera is a shining example of love that transcends cultural identity.