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  The Amen Corner at Sidney Harman Hall

The Amen Corner

Sidney Harman Hall
610 F Street NW Washington

In a 1950s storefront church in Harlem, Pastor Margaret Alexander rails at her congregation and her teenaged son for their vices. With a gospel choir singing of redemption in one room and her son bonding with his ailing father over their love of jazz in the next, Margaret must face the music herself when a figure from her own troubled past returns. James Baldwin's The Amen Corner tackles the role of the church in the Black community in this landmark work, written immediately after his breakthrough novel Go Tell It on the Mountain. Whitney White, winner of the Susan Stroman Director Award, makes her STC directorial debut in this powerful production rich with music, humanity, and Baldwin's lyrical prose.

Thru - Mar 15, 2020

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm & 7:00pm

Sidney Harman Hall Seating Chart

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  The Amen Corner Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Washington Post - Recommended

"...The feel of the 1950s is vibrantly achieved in Andy Jean's dramatic, colorful costumes; a starched white, button-up coat dress and a green satin gown for Ellis are among the most vivid of the eye-catching looks. Attention must also be paid to the work here of music director Victor Simonson, who whips the gospel chorus into effervescent shape. At other times, the singers, moved by the spirit, whip themselves into holy-roller frenzies. Such is the energy surge onstage that you'll want to know how you might plug into it yourself."
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Peter Marks

MetroWeekly - Recommended

"...Baldwin never knew the Alpha choruses of the internet, never knew what it’s like to be caught in the maelstrom of voices providing a language, but also the existence and four corners, of an “identity” — be it one of race, gender, or political party. He embraced and struggled with his experience, but, as is so evident in Amen, he didn’t need to conform to a narrative or require that it confer certainties or sainthood. Instead, it was a life’s contemplation through which he asked the kind of bold and unfettered questions about religion, love, and human frailty that transcend race or ethnicity. Seen amid today’s culture of “core messaging,” it feels remarkably fresh and original."

Kate Wingfield

BroadwayWorld - Highly Recommended

"...Under a lesser director, it is easy to see how various themes and identities of The Amen Corner could get lost. Baldwin wrote a complex play - complex not in that it is tough to understand, but rather that the play understands all the aspects that make life so tough. Whitney White's direction appears effortless in guiding these characters, and she never loses that personal touch. Every moment, and I mean every moment, is well executed."
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Benjamin Tomchik

Talkin Broadway - Highly Recommended

"...Under its new artistic director, Simon Godwin, the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington is expanding its repertoire of classics to incorporate more diverse voices. James Baldwin's 1954 play The Amen Corner, receiving a stunning production at Sidney Harman Hall, is the first written by an African American to be produced in the company's history. (Another link to Washington is that the play premiered at Howard University in 1955, years before its Broadway run.)"
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Susan Berlin

DCTheatreScene - Recommended

"...Throughout, director Whitney White highlights the interplay of Baldwin's clear, uncompromising words with the glorious religious music. Is Baldwin trying to nudge audiences toward accepting that morality and reality can peacefully coexist? Or is "The Amen Corner" a critique of how religion can both hurt and heal? Probably, it's both things, and watching how it all plays out provides ample food for reflection, whether you're a believer or not."
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Jennifer Barger

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