Black Pearl Sings to Get World Premiere at Stages Rep in TX | Playbill

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News Black Pearl Sings to Get World Premiere at Stages Rep in TX The 29th season of Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, TX, will include the world premiere drama with music, Black Pearl Sings, by Frank Higgins.

Performances will play Oct. 17-Nov. 4. Directed by Brad Dalton, the 1930s-set play concerns Susannah, a "song collector" for the Library of Congress, who encounters Pearl in a Texas prison. "Descended from slaves, Pearl is a living library of forgotten folk songs and looks like Susannah's ticket to fame and fortune," according to production notes. "But Pearl has plans of her own, and she uses her songs as currency to negotiate her family's future. Powerful, honest and wryly funny, this world premiere play traces the little-known roots of many beloved American songs."

Black Pearl Sings won a reading slot at the Barter Theatre in Virginia in summer 2006 as part of the Southern New Play Festival. Frank Higgins is the author of Gunplay, Miracles, Lover's Leap, Never Say Die, WMKS: Where Music Kills Sorrow and The Taste Test, as well as How Anansi the Spider Came to America, a play for young audiences presented in Stages' EarlyStages series in 2004 and 2005.

The Stages production will feature Stages favorite Susan O. Koozin as Susannah.

The 2007-08 season is the inaugural season for Kenn McLaughlin, the new producing artistic director of Stages Repertory Theatre, a resident Equity company.

McLaughlin was named producing artistic director in January 2007 following six years as the theatre's managing director. The 2007-08 Stages season will also include Stephen Temperley's Souvenir, directed by Mark Ramont; the musical Altar Boyz by Kevin Del Aguila (book) and Gary Adler & Michael Patrick Walker (music and lyrics), directed by Scott Thompson; the regional premieres of two plays by Craig Wright — The Unseen, directed by Brad Dalton, and Lady, directed by Leslie Swackhamer; Richard Dresser's Rounding Third, directed by Kenn McLaughlin; and the Houston premiere of Noah Haidle's Mr. Marmalade, directed by Alex Harvey.

For information call (713) 527-0123 or visit


Currently playing at Stages is Late Nite Catechism by Vicki Quade & Maripat Donovan, through Sept. 30.

In addition to its MainStage season of plays, Stages Repertory Theatre presents the EarlyStages series, introducing young audiences to the power and magic of live theatre.

Stages also offers a range of additional education and outreach programs that "encourage conversation about important ideas and issues, provide insight into other cultures and viewpoints, and help develop each new generation of citizens, artists and audiences."

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