The Coronavirus Pandemic has significantly disrupted communities and businesses around the world. The St. Louis region and The Black Rep is no different in compliance with the Shelter-at-Home order.

We have held the curtain for as long as we could. Our production of Marie and Rosetta originally scheduled for May 6 – 21, 2020 and postponed to June 3-21, 2020 was officially cancelled upon notification of the closure of the Edison Theatre.

Producing Director Ron Himes says, “The artists had been on hold anxiously hoping that we would get in the final production of the season. The awesome creative team had been on hold hoping against the inevitable. That company of artists, along with our staff and interns, are all safe and well but deeply disappointed. So now we begin an extended intermission, as we continue to work from home planning our second act, the return to the stage for Season 44.”

We will be in touch, directly, with season and single ticket holders for Marie and Rosetta performances.

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About The St Louis Black Repertory Company

The St Louis Black Repertory Company was founded in 1976 by Producing Director Ron Himes. The Black Rep is one of the largest, professional African-American theatre companies in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri. Quality professional dramas, comedies and musicals by primarily African-American and international playwrights are produced. Mainstage productions and our Education & Community Programs combine to reach more than 80,000 people annually.

The season begins with the soulful musical revue, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, then August Wilson’s masterpiece, Two Trains Running. The season then moves into Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem Spell #7 ending with Marie and Rosetta. 

Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope September 4-22

Garnering a Grammy and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope was the first musical revue in the history of Broadway to be written and directed by African-American women, namely Micki Grant and Vinette Carol.

First performed in 1971, the show’s themes of economic and racial injustice still ring clear today. With little dialogue in between performances, its poignant social commentary is weaved into an unbroken cycle of high-energy feel-good song and dance numbers that fuse gospel with jazz, soul and calypso. Its ability to shine a light on important issues whilst staying upbeat saw the show run for over 1000 performances during its run on the Great White Way.

Two Trains Running January 8-26

In August Wilson’s masterpiece, history unfolds around everyday lives against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Long-time regulars gather at the local diner in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to gossip, flirt and play the numbers. The owner must decide whether to let the city take over his building or sell it to a shrewd, local businessman. Part of Wilson’s trailblazing American Century Cycle, Two Trains Running paints a compassionate & unforgettable portrait of ordinary people in the midst of transformation.

Spell #7 February 19-March 8

This striking choreopoem by the author of For Colored Girls, Ntozake Shange is set in St. Louis in a bar frequented by Black artists and musicians, actors, and performers. In a series of dreamlike vignettes and poetic monologues, they commiserate about the difficulties they face as black artists. The piece is framed by the narrator, Lou, a magician who wants to use his magic to help the characters come to terms with their blackness and rejoice in their identities.

Marie and Rosetta May 6-24

A huge influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a legend in her time, bringing fierce guitar playing and swing to gospel music. “Marie and Rosetta” chronicles her first rehearsal with a young protégée, Marie Knight, as they prepare to embark on a tour that would establish them as one of the great duos in musical history.

Tickets for the 2019-2020 Season are currently available by season subscription and group sales only. For information or to purchase a subscription by phone call (314) 534-3807. To purchase season subscriptions online, visit General ticket on-sale dates for each show will be announced in the future.

Due to casting conflicts, The Black Rep’s production of “Marie and Rosetta”  by George Brant will be rescheduled to kick-off the 2019-2020 Season, Sept. 3-25, 2019. Replacing the previously scheduled 2019 spring production will be “Milk Like Sugar,” Feb. 13- March 3, 2019. 
“We are ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with some extraordinary artists for our production of ‘Marie and Rosetta,” said Black Rep Producing Director Ron Himes. “Because of the cast, we felt compelled to alter the season schedule. While ‘Milk Like Sugar’ was slated to be produced as part of our 2019-2020 season, we’re thrilled to move it to this season’s electrifying line-up instead.”

It is Annie Desmond’s 16th birthday and her friends have decided to help her celebrate in style, complete with a brand-new tattoo. Before her special night is over, however, Annie and her friends enter into a life–altering pact. When Annie tries to make good on her promise to her friends, she is forced to take a good look at the world that surrounds her. She befriends Malik, who promises a bright future, and Keera, whose evangelical leanings inspire Annie in a way her young parents have not been able to do. In the end, Annie’s choices propel her onto an irreversible path in this story that combines wit, poetry and hope.
Bringing fierce guitar playing and swing to gospel music that would become a rhythmic precursor to rock and roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a pioneer of mid-20th-century music with a huge influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and Ray Charles. Set in the showroom of a funeral home in Mississippi 1946, this musical celebration of two extraordinary Black Women chronicles the unlikely first rehearsal between Rosetta and the prim young, Marie Knight, to see if the potential protégée could summon the stuff to allow for a professional partnership that might topple the male stranglehold suppressing Rosetta’s career. They would embark on a tour to establish them as one of the great duos in musical history.
Season ticket-holders will have the same seats for ‘Milk Like Sugar’ as they would have had for ‘Marie and Rosetta.’ Single tickets for “Milk Like Sugar’ will go on sale Jan. 3, 2019.