The play concerns office and city politics and race relations following a murder in a Detroit-like city.
Producing artistic director Gary Anderson announced the 14th season May 21.
The 2004 season includes a return of the recent musical hit by Janet Choe, Sarah, Ella &...Pops, in October 2004. It features "the phenomenal singing talents of sultry Linda Boston" celebrating "Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and the legendary Louis Armstrong."
The piece is set between the years of 1931 and 1954, and uses songs these artists made famous to chronicle their careers. The return represents a revised show with new scenes, new performers and more than 30 songs.
Gary Anderson's He Is Christmas, "based on the gospels related to the birth of Christ," returns for a second year, playing November-December 2004. Set in a modern day Detroit church, a Pastor and his congregation tell the story of the birth of Jesus by taking on the roles of Biblical characters. The gospel musical is "an African-centered reinterpretation of the beginning of the greatest story ever told" and "reinterprets the Nativity story using traditional spirituals, gospel music, a cappella, blues, and jazz interpretations of holiday favorites in an interactive manner." Phillip Dean Hayes' solo play, Paul Robeson, plays January-February 2005. Plowshares is seeking a star name for the part of the title actor, singer and activist.
The Story, the well-reviewed drama ripped from the headlines, plays March-April 2005. It played New York City's Public Theater in 2003-04.
George C. Wolfe's Spunk, drawing on stories by Zora Neale Hurston, plays May-June 2005.
Regina Taylor's hit play with music, Crowns, about black women and their church hats, plays July-August 2005, leading to the troupe's 15th season. Here's how this Detroit premiere is billed: "A moving and celebratory musical 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 aunt after her brother is killed in Brooklyn. Hats are everywhere, in exquisite variety, and the characters use the hats to tell tales concerning everything from the etiquette of hats to their historical and contemporary social functioning."
All the plays will be performed in the General Motors Theater in Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 East Warren in Detroit. For information, call (313) 872-0279.