The Billie Holiday Theatre Presents the World Premiere of Black Genius in the American Theater: A Concert Reading
The Billie Holiday Theatre – one of the nation’s preeminent arts and culture organizations and currently celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary – today announced that it will present the world premiere of Black Genius in the American Theater: A Concert Reading on Friday, February 18th and Saturday, February 19th. Marking The Billie’s first Mainstage production since the start of the global pandemic, the production will feature excerpts from six of the most notable plays that have crossed The Billie’s stage over the past over the course of its 50 year history.
Demonstrating The Billie’s immense impact on Black Theater during its 50th Anniversary Season, each play explored in Black Genius will represent a different decade – with the exception of the last two which will showcase works the Theater presented in the 2010s. The selected works include: Inacent Black and The Five Brothers by A. Marcus Hemphill (1979); Tambourines To Glory by Langston Hughes (1980); The Past Is the Past by Richard Wesley (1990); Faith On Line by Joyce Sylvester (2001); Brother’s From The Bottom by Jackie Alexander (2010) and The Old Settler by John Henry Redwood (2017).
The Billie also unveiled the cast for the show which features an impressive list of renowned actors across Broadway, television and film including: The cast for the Concert reading featured an impressive list of renowned actors across Broadway, television and film including: Peggy Alston, Denise Burse, Billy Eugene Jones, Donny Hinson, Pauletta Pearson Washington and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney.
Black Genius in the American Theater: A Concert Reading is part of The Billie’s Spring 2023 programming and a major presentation under its 50th Anniversary Season. This Season pays homage to five decades of excellence presented from The Billie’s iconic stage while also spotlighting the institution’s future and its continued commitment to telling Black stories and helping redefine the role of Black theater.