Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe invites the community to celebrate the Christmas season with Langston Hughes’ “Black Nativity,” an inspirational gospel musical originally penned by poet/playwright Langston Hughes that retells the biblical nativity story. The music is combined with dance, poetry and narrative to deliver a message of joy, hope, victory and liberation.
The music is a celebratory mash-up of gospel, blues, spiritual and Christmas music, paired with the poetry of Hughes and the creativity of the Westcoast Black Theatre; founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs adapted and is directing the work. Children and adults of all races and backgrounds will be enthralled by this high-energy, theatrical wonderment.
“This show is our Christmas card of the season – we wanted to present something that would add joy and inspiration to the holiday season while staying true to our mission of promoting and celebrating the African American experience,” said Jacobs. “Langston Hughes was dedicated to telling real-life stories of the African American people and I know our audiences here in Sarasota will all be inspired – regardless of their race.”
The show was first performed off-Broadway in 1961 – it was one of the first plays written by an African American to be staged there. “Black Nativity” is performed annually in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Ga., Chicago, Ill., Boston, Mass. and Seattle, Wash, and was made into a film, with numerous African American stars including Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson and Jennifer Hudson, in 2013.
“Black Nativity is the perfect holiday offering for the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe,” said executive director Richard M. Parison, Jr. “Material like this enhances our ability to teach, uplift, engage and entertain – with ‘Black Nativity’ we can accomplish all of that in just about two hours.”
Black Nativity is not included in the season subscription. Runs December 3-21, various dates and times. Tickets are $36.50; call the box office at (941) 366-1505 or go to the website, westcoastblacktheatre.org, for show times and to purchase tickets.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. The mission is to produce plays that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, attract diverse audiences, while using its productions as a vehicle for supporting African-American artists and building the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.