As the holiday season commences, the spirit of community is at the forefront, as Congo Square Theatre Company announces a very special limited engagement run of its annual holiday celebration, The Nativity, by McKinley Johnson. For the eighth annual production of The Nativity, Congo Square has entered into collaboration with Trinity United Church of Christ (Trinity UCC) to engage audiences on the south side of Chicago, made possible via a grant from The Chicago Community Trust. This effort will enhance arts and culture within the community, as Congo Square and Trinity UCC come together to offer a gift that is rooted in family and faith. It also answers the popular demand for the return of the show from those who have supported the show since inception.
Congo Square’s returning patrons and newcomers will experience the joyous telling of the birth of Jesus Christ in the state-of-the-art theater located on the campus of Kennedy King College. “We are so pleased to have the opportunity to bring a time-honored classic home to the community,” says Ann Joseph Douglas, Executive Director of Congo Square Theatre. “We’ve heard and experienced the same challenges our patrons and supporters have shared with us, and look at this exclusive engagement as a way to share the blessings with our community at a time when we all need it most.”
Inspired by Langston Hughes’ African American classic, Black Nativity,and directed for a second time by Ilesa Duncan, audiences will be delighted with the high energy showcasing of the journey taken by Mary and Joseph, through the birth of Jesus Christ. The stellar cast features ensemble member, Alexis J. Rogers, who returns to the production as the angel, Gabriel, along with Kathleen Purcell Turner in the role of Mary. Choreography is guided by the Artistic Director of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Nicole Springer. With music composed by Jaret Landon, the musical personifies the messages of family, unity, and love, through the traditions of African American heritage. “Artistically, there is no better way for all of us at Congo Square to pay tribute and mark the holiday season each year than doing The Nativity – our way,” offers Artistic Director, Daniel Bryant. “This is dance, Gospel music, and pure joy, personified and perfectly staged.”
The Nativity will run at the Kennedy King College Theater, located at 740 W. 63rd Street, Chicago, Illinois, from December 13 through December 23, 2012. Previews are December 13th and 14th at 7:30 p.m. Opening Night is December 17th at 7:00 p.m., and Closing Sunday, December 23rd,features performances at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The sponsor for the 2012 production of The Nativity is The Chicago Community Trust, and the production is presented in collaboration with Trinity United Church of Christ. The production’s Media Partner is Clear Channel Communications. Congo Square Theatre’s 2012-2013 production season is made possible through funding provided, in part, by Peoples Gas, Albert Pick Foundation, and The MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, as well as Target, Southwest Airlines and the Boeing Company.
Tickets for The Nativity are now on sale at CongoSquareTheatre.org.
General Admission is $45.
Groups of 10 or more are $35. Group Sales call (773) 296-1108.
Previews: December 13th and 14th at 7:30 p.m.
Opening: December 17th at 7:00 p.m.
Regular Run: December 18th through December 22nd – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows: 7:30 p.m.
JUST Announced! 3pm Matinee – Saturday December 22 – tickets are ONLY available at 773-296-1108!
Closing: December 23rd – 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. shows
Congo Square Theater Company is an ensemble-based entity that seeks to broaden the scope of the theater-going experience. The ensemble’s effort matches education and the performances of productions that push the envelope in the telling of the diverse stories from within the African Diaspora – that ultimately resonate throughout humanity. Congo Square was founded in 1999 by two talented and determined theater artists with a commitment to artistic excellence.
For more on Congo Square Theatre Company – visit Congosquaretheatre.org
Trinity United Church of Christ (Trinity UCC) was founded on December 5, 1961 during the Civil Rights Movement. A predominantly African American congregation with a diverse social economic membership, which exceeds 8,500, Trinity UCC is the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ denomination. Our mission of Christ, Community and Culture promotes community outreach and involvement. Trinity UCC has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships to college students, distributed over 30,000 Thanksgiving food baskets, and implements a Green Ministry, which reduces infrastructural energy for Trinity UCC’s campus and its members’ homes, cultivates an organic garden and manages its own Farmers Market, which sells locally grown fruits and vegetables to people living in urban food deserts. For more information on Trinity UCC’s ministries, visit www.tucc.org
For 97 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2011 the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $100 million to nonprofit organizations. From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to helping lives affected by violence, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at www.cct.org