Half of Jubilee Theatre's 2019-20 lineup was written by black women, keeping with the 39th season's theme of "Shades of Us." Three plays and three musicals are on the bill, the first selected by new artistic director D. Wambui Richardson.
"Truly it has been an honor and pleasure to craft my first season at Jubilee," says Richardson. "It was Ossie Davis who said, 'I find, in being black, a thing of beauty: a joy; a strength; a secret cup of gladness.' In this cup you will find the many shades, hues, and perspectives of not just being an African American but of the universal experiences we all share."
Lisa B. Thompson's Single Black Female starts things off, running September 27-October 27, 2019. Rapid-fire vignettes examine the lives of thirty-something African American middle-class women as they search for love, clothes, and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them among a parade of stereotypical images.
Ekundayo Bandele's musical revue If Scrooge Was a Brother is next, running November 22-December 22, 2019. It's Christmas Eve and Eb Scroo is seeking to snuff out the season's cheer by demanding all debts owed him be satisfied before nightfall. In this urban spin on Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the ghosts and characters are icons of black culture, performing gospel, R&B, and even reggae songs.
First produced at Jubilee under co-founder and original artistic director Rudy Eastman, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black is based on Lorraine Hansberry's autobiographical writings and assembled into a play after her death. In angry, loving, bitter, laughing, and defiantly proud turns, the story and message offer a glimpse of the black experience in mid-century America. It runs January 24-February 23, 2020.
How I Got Over by Nate Jacobs celebrates the legendary Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson, and other gospel greats in a musical revue. Expect soulful renditions of award-winning religious songs like "Precious Lord," "Move On Up a Little Higher," and "His Eye Is On the Sparrow." It runs March 20-April 26, 2020.
Dallas playwright Jonathan Norton is about to open his world premiere Penny Candy at Dallas Theater Center, but he has oddly never been produced in Fort Worth until now. An early work, My Tidy List of Terrors is a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Atlanta Child Murders of 1980. It runs May 22-June 21, 2020.
The season closes with Trey Anthony's Da Kink in My Hair, a musical set in a West Indian stylist's salon. Novelette delves into the tresses and stresses of her clients, who congregate to have their hair done for dates, jobs, and upkeep. They leave with not just a new hairdo, but a lifted soul and a lightened heart. It runs July 31-August 30, 2020.
Season tickets can be purchased online, in person at the theater box office located at 506 Main St., or by calling 817-338-4411.