ENTERTAINMENT • EDUCATION • INSPIRATION

Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage

Blues for an Alabama Sky

Directed by William (Bill) Earl Ray

Previews: Sept 27 & 28

Sept 29 – Oct 22, 2023

Brunish Theatre, 4th Floor, 1111 S.W. Broadway, Portland

THE STORY: It is the summer of 1930 in Harlem, New York. The creative euphoria of the Harlem Renaissance has given way to the harsher realities of the Great Depression. Young Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., is feeding the hungry and preaching an activist gospel at Abyssinian Baptist Church. Black Nationalist visionary Marcus Garvey has been discredited and deported. Birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger is opening a new family planning clinic on 126th Street, and the doctors at Harlem Hospital are scrambling to care for a population whose most deadly disease is poverty.

The play brings together a rich cast of characters who reflect the conflicting currents of the time through their overlapping personalities and politics. Set in the Harlem apartment of Guy, a popular costume designer, and his friend, Angel, a recently fired Cotton Club back-up singer, the cast also includes Sam, a hard-working, jazz-loving doctor at Harlem Hospital; Delia, an equally dedicated member of the staff at the Sanger clinic; and Leland, a recent transplant from Tuskegee, who sees in Angel a memory of lost love and a reminder of those “Alabama skies where the stars are so thick it’s bright as day.”

Invoking the image of African-American expatriate extraordinaire, Josephine Baker as both muse and myth, Cleage’s characters struggle, as Guy says, “to look beyond 125th Street” for the fulfillment of their dreams.

Cast for PassinArt’s production of Blues for an Alabama Sky: 

Taylore Mahogany Scott
Kenneth Dembo
Austin Michael Young
Tyharra Cozier
Telvin Griffin

Angel Allen 
Guy Jacobs 
Sam Thompson 
Delia Patterson 
Leland Cunningham 

  • Doors to the theatre open a half hour before curtain. Run time is 2 hours and 45 minutes which includes a 15 minute intermission.
  • Trigger warning: Performances include the loud sounds of gun shots.
  • Masks are optional- but highly recommended.
  • For ticketing questions, please call 503-248-4910.

3 thoughts on “Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage

  1. Once again a winning production! Terrific evening. Thank you for all the hard work of the many people that bring these works to our lives. We are richer for it! Tough historical topics with current significance. Top notch!

    1. Thank you so much for attending and supporting PassinArt! We appreciate your kind and helpful feedback.

  2. Brilliant performance by all the actors who truly became the characters on stage.
    I had only heard about the positives of the harlem renaissance, so this production enlightened me to their plight! This production from creative set design to beautiful era based costumes was engaging at every level. I wish everyone in Portland would attend this production!

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