Dr. Mark G. Henderson, professor of theatre and speech communication, and MADDRAMA Performance Troupe will present “Black Nativity,” a holiday celebration, at Jackson State University Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 at the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium.
“If you like acting, singing (and) dancing, this is it,” Henderson said. “It’s based on the poet Langston Hughes’ production of ‘Black Nativity.’”
“Black Nativity,” written in 1961, debuted on Broadway the same year and was also one of the first play s penned by an African-American to be staged at New York City’s Lincoln Theater.
Henderson explains that the annual production tells the Christmas story through gospel song, poetry and dance. He also said putting on the performance is one of many ways JSU gives back to the metro community.
“In our community, we have different cultural aspects; we have the ‘Christmas Carol’ (and) the ‘Christmas Story’ done by other theaters. This is our way of celebrating the holiday, and you will really enjoy it,” Henderson said.
The professor also wants people to know that “We are resilient and we are showing that we celebrate. We are so resilient, regardless of what is going on with the perception of what people might think is happening at Jackson State, the arts are still alive at Jackson State University, and this is our way of continuing a tradition,” Henderson said.
Each performance begins at 7 p.m., except Sunday’s performance, which begins at 4:30 p.m.