By Face Off Theatre Company
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – You might have heard how people couldn't get enough of Face Off Theatre Company's last gospel musical, Mahalia! Now we're back with another one, and it opens Thursday, Feb. 27 to coincide with Black History Month!
The award-winning Crowns by Regina Taylor is a moving and celebratory musical play in which hats become a springboard for an exploration of Black history and identity as seen through the eyes of a young Black woman who has come down South to stay with her grandmother after her brother is killed in Brooklyn.
Each hat holds a story of a wedding, a funeral, baptism and more as women share their stories of how they moved through life's struggles. It features some rap but predominantly gospel music underscore and support the narratives.
Showtimes are: 7:30 p.m. Thursday,Feb. 27 - Saturday, Feb. 29 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1 at the Judy Jolliffe Theatre in the Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall in downtown Kalamazoo. For tickets, visit faceofftheatre.com.
The show is the first of four plays in the 2020 season of the Black Arts & Cultural Center's Face Off Theatre Company.
"Crowns is a coming-of-age story about a 17-year-old girl,” says Director Marissa Harrington. “Yolanda is on a self-destructive path running the mean Englewood streets of Chicago. Her mother sends her down South to live with her Grandma Shaw after Yolanda’s brother is shot and killed. Grandma Shaw introduces Yolanda to her circle of 'Hat Queens.' Each woman owns at least 100 hats!”
The vocally-delightful cast includes:
Khadijah was in our last gospel show, "Mahalia," staged a year ago this same time. Zaynee was in our November production, "eLLe," about relationships and belonging.
Face Off Theatre’s entire new season is devoted to stories like this about African-American youth. Their voices will be illuminated through works by new and established playwrights.
It reaches a fever pitch in November when the company closes the season with esteemed playwright Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline, a poignant piece about the hot-button topic of the school-to-prison pipeline in the black community.
2020 Season At-A-Glance
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About Face Off Theatre Company
Face Off Theatre Company launched in 2015 as the theatrical arm of the Black Arts & Cultural Center in Kalamazoo. It is devoted to thought-provoking Black theater and the development of playwrights of color, drawing audiences from throughout Southwest Michigan to its performances at the Epic Center’s Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre and nearby artistic venues. Tickets may be purchased online about a month before the show, or at the door. For more: faceofftheatre.com
About the Black Arts & Cultural Center
The Black Arts & Cultural Center, headquartered at downtown Kalamazoo's Epic Center, is widely known for its annual Black Arts Festival since founding in 1986. The organization develops the potential and creativity in Blacks in the Kalamazoo area, advances the awareness of Black artistic ability, helps to preserve Black cultural heritage and enhance interactions among diverse groups. For more: blackartskalamazoo.org
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From the Face Off Staff
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