2019 / 2020 Theatre Season

PARADISE BLUE

Written by Dominique Morisseau

September 26 – October 20, 2019

Jelliffe Theatre

 A Regional Premiere. When Blue needs to just get things out, he picks up his trumpet and lets it sing. His jazz club, Paradise, was once the place in Detroit’s Black bottom neighborhood—until the day Silver, a mysterious woman  with a walk that drives men crazy, shows up with her own ideas for Paradise and turns everyone’s world upside  down. Dynamic, sultry, and spiced with humor, Paradise Blue is a new American classic you’ll want to experience.  This dynamic and musically-infused drama shines light on the challenges of building a better future on the foundation of what our predecessors have left us.

Part of 2019/20 Social Justice Series.

  

RASHEEDA SPEAKING

Written by Joel Drake Johnson

October 31 – November 24, 2019

Arena Theatre

Back by popular demand, this tense workplace thriller examines the realities of so-called “post-racial” when two co-workers—one black,  the other white— are driven apart by the machinations of their boss. A chilling power struggle ensues that spins widely out of control. Rasheeda Speaking is an incisive and shocking dark comedy that keeps you in its claustrophobic grip until the final moment. An exquisitely tense and often cringingly portrait of racial paranoia.

 Part of 2019/20 Social Justice Series.

 

BLACK NATIVITY

Written by Langston Hughes

December 5 – December 29, 2019

Jelliffe Theatre

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

 

SASSY MAMAS

Written by Celeste Bedford Walker

January 30 – February 23, 2020

Jelliffe Theatre

Back by popular demand, in the autumns of their lives, three sophisticated and successful women find themselves living single and ready to mingle...but this time with much (much) younger men. A recent widow, a divorcée, and a career woman all use their social status and wealth to ensnare their younger male suitors. But don’t you dare call them “cougars,”...they would prefer “black panthers.” This fun, feisty, romantic comedy explores the dynamics between the sexes, and highlights when a woman knows what she wants...she knows how to get it.

 

HOODOO LOVE 

Written by Katori Hall

March 19 – April 12, 2020

Jelliffe Theatre

A Regional Premiere. A tale of love, magic, jealousy, and secrets. Young Toulou escapes from the Mississippi cotton fields in the 1930s to pursue her dream of singing the blues in Memphis. When she meets a rambling blues man, the notorious Ace of Spades, her dreams are realized in a way she could never have imagined. She gives into the suggestions of the local madam, Candylady, and conjures up a hoodoo trick to make him fall in love with her. When her brother Jib, a born-again Christian missionary, arrives in town, Toulou is forced to confront all that she was running away from, and a chain of events with devastating consequences is set in motion.

Part of 2019/20 Social Justice Series.

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NEXT TO NORMAL

Music and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt

May 7 – May 31, 2020

Jelliffe Theatre

This soulful rock musical explores the American family and the underbelly of suburban life. Dianna, a stay-at-home mom has lived in and out of reality for the past seventeen years. She and her loving, yet frayed family, navigate their daily lives, struggling to function in society as her mental illness spirals out of control. Brimming with humor and wit, this provocative and electrifying musical examines the trauma of mental illness, and the meaning of putting family first. 

Part of 2019/20 Social Justice Series.