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A Joyful Noise

Black Nativity at Greater St. Stephens

11/30/2016, 10:34 a.m.
A Christmas production deemed the Black community’s gift to the world
The African American producing theater company PassinArt presents Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity: A Joyful Noise, with performances Friday, Dec. 2 through Dec. 18 at Greater St. Stephens Missionary Baptist Church, 3605 N.E. Mallory Ave.

Portland’s African-American producing theater company, PassinArt, brings back Black Nativity, their popular holiday show, for three weekends only, Friday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 18.

Originally produced off-Broadway in 1961, Black Nativity is Langston Hughes’ gorgeous, self-described “gospel song play.” “Nativity” uses a cultural lens to retell the classic holiday Biblical story through scripture, interpretive dance and singing—roof-raising, awe-inspiring singing. The traditional holiday favorites like “Come All Ye Faithful”, gospel classics like “Hold on Just a Little While Longer” and folk spirituals like “Go Tell It on the Mountain” – all done in rousing, soul-stirring versions that consistently move audiences from all different walks of life.

Director Jerry Foster, who has adapted Hughes’ script for PassinArt, says he hopes the audiences for Black Nativity come from all ethnicities, ages and backgrounds to celebrate the holidays.

“This piece has been called the ‘Black community’s gift to the world,” Foster said. “We like to think of our production as a gift to Portland, a way we can all come together.”

The performances will take place at Greater St. Stephens Missionary Baptist Church, 3605 N.E. Mallory Ave., with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows at 3 p.m. Tickets available at the PassinArt website passinart.net.