The Richmond Register

April 14, 2013

Crowns: A musical, theatrical depiction of African-American life

Berea College Theatre Laboratory presents final production of season

By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer

BEREA — The Berea College Theatre Laboratory will close its 2012-13 production season with a six-night run of Regina Taylor’s play, “Crowns.”

“Crowns” opened Friday night and a second show followed on Saturday. However, four more performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at Berea College’s Jelkyl Drama Center. There will be a sign language interpreted performance Friday.

Taylor’s play is a moving and celebratory musical production in which hats become a springboard for an exploration of black history and identity as seen through the eyes of Yolanda, a young black woman who travels down South to stay with her grandmother after her brother is killed in Brooklyn, according to director Adanma Barton.

Gospel music, rap and dance underscore her story as she explores her cultural identity and the significance of her roots in an energetic, colorful and theatrical depiction of African-American life.

The play is filled with amazing spiritual music, jazz numbers and African rhythmic drumming.

“This is the perfect production to end our season with. Our extremely talented cast is ready to spread the message of love, peace and understanding to all audience members who are fortunate enough to witness this amazingly powerful production,” Barton said.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and can be reserved by calling the Theatre Laboratory Box Office at 985-3300 between 1 and 5 p.m. daily. Special prices can be arranged for groups of 10 or more by calling 985-3419.