Center Stage Presents A Civil War Christmas
Previews begin November 19 for A Civil War Christmas, a new holiday classic by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, presented in a new production by award-winning director Rebecca Taichman. Performances run through December 22.
A Civil War Christmas weaves together the stories of more than two-dozen characters-spanning race, religion, and class-on Christmas Eve in 1864. All along the Potomac, from the White House to the front lines, figures both historical and fictional find their lives strangely and poetically intertwined. Infused with traditional holiday carols and period folk songs, A Civil War Christmas celebrates the beauty of shared humanity at a turning point in our nation's history.
Taichman is joined by MacArthur Genius Grant recipient choreographer Liz Lerman. Together, they have created a production rich in the magic of everyday life and grounded in the stories of our region's past. This ensemble-driven production, filled with a vibrant visual language, delves deep into the hopes and fears that unite a divided community one bitterly cold Christmas Eve.
"There is a moment that always happens for me in a Rebecca Taichman production, where I feel my heart does a somersault. It's extraordinary. And yet, her work is simple and clear and urgent," says playwright Paula Vogel. "I first began working with Rebecca on a new play that we're co-creating [Rehearsing Vengeance]. When the opportunity came up to work together here in Maryland, at Center Stage, I thought it would be wonderful."
Among the ensemble bringing to life the cast of characters are Jeffry Denman, last seen at Center Stage as the Narrator in Into the Woods (2011-12), and two local Maryland students who will play the role of Jessa: Baltimore resident Sierra Weems, from Lutherville Laboratory Elementary School, and Owings Mills resident Mackenzie Jarrett, a student at Sudbrook Magnet School for the Arts. The cast also includes: Oberon K.A. Adjepong (Ruined, Philadelphia, Yale Rep); Kati Brazda (A Moon for the Misbegotten, Broadway); Tyrone Davis, Jr. (Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe, Classical Theatre of Harlem); Andrea Goss (Once, Broadway); Matthew Greer (Cabaret, Broadway); Sekou Laidlow (The Mountaintop, Philadelphia); Tracey Conyer Lee (The Piano Lesson, Delaware Theatre); Nicole Lewis (Hair, Broadway); and A.J. Shively (La Cage Aux Folles, Broadway).
A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration by Paula Vogel, directed by Rebecca Taichman, begins previews on Tuesday, November 19. The show opens officially on Tuesday, November 26, and closes December 22. Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased by calling 410.332.0033, or visiting www.centerstage.org. Full information on the season can be found at www.centerstage.org/2013-14season.