aside ‘Marie and Rosetta’ opens at Mosaic Theater Company

The Fourth Season at Mosaic Theater Company, will open with Marie and Rosetta. The play features gospel music, blues, and rock n’ roll and tells the story of the first rehearsal between Sister Rosetta Tharpe (recently inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame), and her young protégée Marie Knight.

The role of the legendary Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be played by Roz White, a Helen Hayes Award winner for Bessie’s Blues at Studio Theatre and frequent star at MetroStage. The young and talented .but more traditional Marie Knight will be played by Ayana Reed, who recently played Antigone in The Gospel of Colonus. Sandra L. Holloway, who recently directed the acclaimed remount of The Gospel at Colonus at WSC Avant Bard, will direct this project, with her frequent artistic partner e’Marcus Harper-Short (Black Nativity, Theatre Alliance) serving as Musical Director.

Marie and Rosetta premiered at the Off-Broadway Atlantic Theater Company in New York City in August 2016 under the direction of Neil Pepe. Since then, it has been produced at the Cincinnati Playhouse and Cleveland Play House. This production will be Marie and Rosetta’s DC premiere. The world of 1946 Mississippi will be brought to life by a top-notch design team, including set design by Andrew Cohen (The Crucible, Olney Theatre Center), lighting design by Jonathan Alexander (King Lear, WSC Avant Bard), costume design by Michael Murray, sound design by Gordon Nimmo-Smith (Caucasian Chalk Circle, Constellation Theatre Company), and props design by Tim Jones (The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Theater J).

Sixteen performances of Marie and Rosetta will be followed by robust post-show discussions. Topics will include conversations about gospel and blues music, the burdens of Jim Crow laws on Black entertainers, the relationship between Black churches and other performances venues, the sexual identity of Rosetta Tharpe, and the connections between Tharpe and DC (her third wedding was combined with a concert, and occurred at Griffith Stadium in the Shaw neighborhood.) Two of these post-show discussions will be led by local scholar and professor Gale Wald, whose book Shout, Sister, Shout: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe inspired many parts of Brant’s script.

Ticket Prices: $20-$68 PWYC  Performance Times: 8 PM Wednesday-Saturday evenings; 3 PM Saturday & Sunday matinees; 7:30 PM on Sunday evenings.

For additional information, visit http://www.mosaictheater.org/marie-and-rosetta

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