Community Article: Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity Returns With New Director, New Show


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MKE black artsThe jaw-dropping musical will reopen for vaccinated and masked audiences after the pandemic’s long halt. Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity is taking place one weekend only – December 9-12, 2021, at the Wilson Theater at the Marcus Center in Vogel Hall. Set in Milwaukee instead of Bethlehem, this cheerful and hopeful tale from Hughes’ original 1961 song features African diaspora poetry, music, and dance with an all-black cast of MKE.

Director Dimonte Henning, a proud Milwaukee native and well-known actor, brings a new post-pandemic perspective, For the Culture. Henning is inspired by the triumphs and tragedies of life, and the power to tell stories of culture and community. He reminds viewers to continue to have faith and celebrate our resilience.

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“Even when things seem difficult, even when you are feeling lonely, it’s a celebration that we’re still here. Although it has been a difficult year, we have more to look forward to. We hope our version of Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity will be a light in this darkness for the people of Milwaukee. We don’t close our eyes to what happened because we need that awareness, but we also need joy and hope. Henning said.

WATCH: Black Nativity Week 1 for the 2021 Creators Cultural Journey

This year’s production features all-new choreography from Milwaukee’s favorite dancer, Christopher Gilbert, and new musical arrangements from respected music producer Antoine Reynolds, Sr., and 14 new cast members. Returning Milwaukee favorites this year include Michaela Usher, Cynthia Cobb, Brielle Richmond and Shawn Holmes. Newcomer Erica Brown as Mary and coach Brian Crawford as Joseph will join the production, which is now in its sixth season. The ensemble features emerging talent including Ethan Hightire, Martilia Marechal, Nicole McCarty, Esther O’Brien, Tommy Canvas, Denzel Taylor, Jarvell Williams and young performers – Terynn ErbyWalker, Maya O’Day-Biddle and Nykolis Reynolds.

The community day on Thursday, December 9 will include a morning of MPS students and a special evening rehearsal. Tickets for youth 18 and under are just $ 5 and adults $ 20 per person.

Black Arts MKE and Black Nativity by Langston Hughes were generously supported during this particularly difficult year by Bader Philanthropies, BMO Harris Bank, CAMPAC, Forest County Potawatomi Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Gruber Law Offices, LLC, Inspiring Our Youth Sponsor Johnson Controls Foundation, Marcus Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee Arts Board, National Endowment for the Arts, PNC Bank, Small Business Administration, The Black Seed, United Performing Arts Fund, We Energies Foundation, Wisconsin Arts Board, Wisconsin Department of Administration and Wisconsin Humanities.


$ 45
December 9 – 12, 2021 (Saturday morning available)

Marcus Center Box Office, 929 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI, call 414-273-7206. Groups of 10 or more should contact Group Sales at 414-273-7121, x210.

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