The new musical replaces Human Race's announced production of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean. Human Race Company member Sheila Ramsey was to star in Wilson's penultimate play, which has been postponed due to Ramsey's health issues.
Penned by Larry Parr, Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow will now fill the June 11-28, 2009 slot on the Human Race season. Sparrow was previously presented at the Florida Studio Theatre in 2005 and in 2007 at the Bristol Riverside Theatre.
"I chose Gem of the Ocean because August Wilson is a brilliant writer, because the script is a beautiful and poetic journey, and because I was very excited to return Sheila Ramsey to our stage," Human Race artistic director Marsha Hanna said in a statement. "Sheila is a founding artist of the company and has performed, taught and directed throughout the community. Unfortunately, she has been given some immense medical challenges from which she is still recovering. I would rather postpone the production than to place a goal which might frustrate her progress, and I don’t want to produce Gem without Sheila."
Casting and creative team have not been announced for His Eye Is On the Sparrow, which finds Waters later in her career, recounting the hardships and successes of her life, including performances of songs that she helped make classics: "Stormy Weather," "Heat Wave," "Cabin in the Sky," "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Black and Blue," "Taking a Chance On Love" and "His Eye Is On the Sparrow."
Tickets are available by phoning (888) 228-3630 or in person at the Schuster Center box office in downtown Dayton. For further information visit www.humanracetheatre.org.