D Kevin McNeirLifestyle

James Baldwin’s ‘The Amen Corner’: Black Excellence on Stage

Shakespeare Theatre Company Takes Us to Church, Feb. 11 - March 15

In a 1950s storefront church in Harlem, Pastor Margaret Alexander rails at her congregation for their vices and her teenaged son for his wayward desires. As her son attempts to bond with his ailing father with their common love of jazz, and the gospel choir singing songs of redemption, Pastor Alexander must soon face the music herself when someone reenters her life – a life that once was filled with its own troubles and shadows. James Baldwin’s “The Amen Corner,” which comes to the stage Feb. 11 – March 15 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company [STC] in Northwest, confronts the role of the Black Church in Baldwin’s work, written immediately after his breakthrough novel “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” The play was first adapted for the stage and presented on the campus of Howard University at Spaulding Hall, May 11, 1955 at the urgings of Owen Dodson, a writer and director of the Howard University Players. In the STC production, Whitney White, winner of the Susan Stroman Director Award, makes her Shakespeare Theatre Company directorial debut in this powerful production rich with music, humanity and Baldwin’s lyrical prose.ub In next week’s edition of The Washington Informer, we chat one-on-one with the amazing director White, along with one of the most versatile actors of this generation, E. Faye Butler and native Washingtonian, actor and singer, Nova Y. Payton.

Amen, Baldwin! A Living Celebration

In conversation with The Amen Corner, STC will also host a series of special events titled Amen, Baldwin! A Living Celebration throughout February and March. Amen, Baldwin! celebrates the legacy of James Baldwin and his impact upon Washington, D.C., uniting institutions, community partners, and local artists and activists. For more visit:  http://www.shakespearetheatre.org/amen-baldwin/

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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