Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, you probably know the basics…Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the little baby in the manger. Frankincense, gold and myrrh. A bright star in the heavens showing the way for the wise men.
Not a lot of room for creative liberties, right?
But as all writers know, the story itself isn’t the only thing that matters—it’s the way you tell it.
And at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts last week, I saw the nativity story like I’d never imagined it before.
The Impact team took a field trip to Ellington’s production of Black Nativity, a Langston Hughes play choreographed by the school’s late co-founder Mike Malone.
And we were blown away by what the school community had created!
From the moment that the young cast entered the theater singing “Joy to the World” in beautiful robes, we knew we were in for something special.
The student performers were so talented that we barely knew where to focus our attention. There were singers doing gospel renditions of beloved Christmas hymns. There were dancers portraying Mary and Joseph, projecting the emotion of that first Christmas night without uttering a word. And there were the narrators, whose spoken word stories brought the whole thing together.
Act two’s depiction of the story of the Black church in America—with powerful gospel songs from every era—brought the evening to a rousing close.
As the school celebrates their 40th anniversary this year, it was a thoughtful choice for their signature production.
At Impact, we’re thrilled to count the Duke Ellington School of the Arts among our inspiring clients. And we’re grateful to the Ellington community for getting us into the holiday spirit!
– Posted by Julie Price