Friday, September 23, 2016

The Theater Project producing new version of Regina Taylor’s CROWNS

Daaimah Talley

Expectations are high -- The Theater Project had previously produced CROWNS in 2010, so “In 2016, we expect to raise the roof at each and every performance in Maplewood,” says artistic director Mark Spina. “The music in CROWNS makes you want to join right in – and people do!”

The production, starring 
Daaimah Talley and Andre DeSandies, is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, begins its four-week run September 29.

In Regina Taylor’s CROWNS, the hats worn by African American church women become a springboard for exploration of black history and identity through story and song. “Sometimes under those hats, there’s a lot of joy and a lot of sorrow.” The show uses gospel music to describe the journey of Yolanda, a young woman who travels down South to stay with family after her brother is killed in Brooklyn. As she deals with her loss, she finds strength by learning about her roots from her grandmother’s community of church women. Gospel music, rap and dance underscore her story as she discovers the history and significance of cultural traditions in a colorful, energetic depiction of African-American life.

Gail Lou
The production’s musical director is Gail Lou, an accomplished recording artist, actress, songwriter, and arranger. She performed off-Broadway as Lena Horne in MAMA I WANT TO SING and has received critical acclaim from the Grammy Committee for her recordings. Choreographer Colleen Hawks’ Broadway performance credits include SHREK, THE BOY FROM OZ, and SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ. The production is directed by Mark Spina.

CROWNS is being presented by the award-winning professional company The Theater Project at its home base in Maplewood’s Burgdorff Center for the Arts, September 29 – October 23rd. It was originally produced in New York City by McCarter Theatre in association with Second Stage Theatre in 2002. CROWNS is based on the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marbury and adapted by Regina Taylor.

Tickets, group rates and information are available at

About The Theater Project (TTP):

Andre DeSandies
Founded in 1994, The Theater Project presents its main stage season and children’s classes at the Burgdorff Cultural Center, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood, New Jersey. TTP also maintains a strong presence in Cranford and Union, offering readings and events in several locations. For more information, visit

Tickets and further information are available at

WHAT: CROWNS, the gospel musical by Regina Taylor
WHEN: September 29 – October 23, 2016
Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 2 PM.
WHERE: The Theater Project at the Burgdorff Center for the Arts,
10 Durand Rd, Maplewood, NJ
TIX: $40 - $20; discounts available for groups and advance sale.
Discounts also available for students, seniors, and NJEA members.
INFO:, 908 809-8865

PHOTOS: Daaimah Talley, Andre DeSandies, and Gail Lou, from TTP.

No comments:

Post a Comment