Andre De Shields, Lillias White et al. Set for 2011 National Black Theatre Festival
The opening night gala performance will be by Tony Award winner Lillias White, who will perform Live! At Black Theatre Holy Ground, a one-woman show about coming of age that uses music from the last 30-40 years, as well as original music by Timothy Graphenreed to chronicle a woman's stages of development and experience. Additional performances of the piece are scheduled throughout the festival.
Two-time Tony Award nominee André De Shields will reprise his performance in New Federal Theatre's acclaimed production of Knock Me a Kiss, written and directed by Charles Smith. The cast also features Erin Cherry, Gillian Glasco, Morocco Omari, Sean Phillips, and Marie Thomas. The play is a fictional account inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois' daughter Yolande to one of Harlem's great poets, Countee Cullen.
Additional programming will include Lemon Andersen's solo County of Kings; Vanessa Williams, star of Showtime's Soul Food, in Feet on the Ceiling; Layon Gray's All American Girls: A Negro League of Their Own; and Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor's retrospective piece, Every Festival From 1989-2011.