Black Nativity at Stewart Theatre | NCSU Campus: Stewart Theatre | Stage | Indy Week

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Black Nativity at Stewart Theatre

When: Dec. 19, 7 p.m., Sun., Dec. 20, 4 p.m. and Dec. 21-22, 8 p.m. 2015

BLACK NATIVITY

STEWART THEATRE, RALEIGH

SATURDAY, DEC. 19–TUESDAY, DEC. 22

When a plant outgrows a planter, you just repot it. When a show outgrows a venue—twice, in four short years—it's not that simple. After Black Nativity, Justice Theater Project's annual holiday production, filled the St. Mary's School auditorium in 2011 and 2012, it moved to N.C. State's Titmus Theatre in 2013 and 2014. The entire run still sold out a month in advance. Moving the production to the much larger Stewart Theatre this year required major recalibration, with a cast of 99 actors, singers, dancers and musicians—nearly twice the size of last year's troupe. Langston Hughes' 1961 play with music plunges us into a Christmas revival at an African-American church from long ago, as congregants dance, sing, praise and ponder the mystery of the Nativity story. As the play's creators intended, the songs and choreography vary each year; as always, mighty music director Carolyn Colquitt and beloved African American Dance Ensemble founder Chuck Davis put some change-ups in the mix. Artistic director Deb Royals directs. 8 p.m. Mon.Tues.; 7 p.m. Sat.Sun.; 4 p.m. Sun., $22$27, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh, 919-264-7089, www.thejusticetheaterproject.org. —Byron Woods

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