By Face Off Theatre Company
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Crowns by Regina Taylor, a moving, award-winning gospel musical that uses hats as a vehicle for women to share their stories of celebration and of triumph over hardship, kicks off the Black Arts & Cultural Center's Face Off Theatre Company's sixth season in February.
It is timed to coincide with Black History Month. 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.
"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!” And each hat holds a story of a wedding, a funeral, baptism, and so much more.
The vocally-delightful cast includes: Denetta Diamond ("Yolanda"), Khadijah Brown ("Jeanette"), Zaynee Hobdy ("Mabel"), Jeannie Jones ("Wanda"), Brenda Earvin ("Mother Shaw"), Shauntrece Stokes ("Velma"), and Chan Pratt ("Man"). 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 Company’s entire upcoming 2020 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
Click here for tickets!
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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