Penumbra Theatre is celebrating joy, healing and community with its 45th season.
The theater, which has expanded its mission to include wellness and healing, previously announced that it will do "Black Nativity," its popular holiday show based on Langston Hughes' oratorio. Music will be conducted by Sanford Moore and feature the Kingdom Life Church Choir alongside dance choreographed by Leslie Parker (Dec. 2-24).
The other three titles on the roster are a solo work about Thurgood Marshall, a world premiere by Harrison David Rivers and a mini-performing arts festival.
Longtime company member Lester Purry, who has been involved with August Wilson plays and who memorably played Othello at the Guthrie Theater, will grace the Penumbra stage for the first time in years in George Stevens Jr.'s play "Thurgood," as the nation's first Black Supreme Court justice. Penumbra founder Lou Bellamy directs (March 10-27, 2022).
Rivers' "This Bitter Earth," about an interracial same-sex couple confronted by the harshness of racism, ran at Penumbra in spring 2018. His newest play, "Weathering," is about a couple dealing with loss and the women who help them through their grief. "Weathering" will be directed by Colette Robert, a newcomer to Penumbra who mostly works in New York and Los Angeles (April 28-May 22, 2022).
Penumbra closes its main-stage season with the Ashe Lab Festival, in which artists who have been in residency at the theater share their work. Those artists include dancers Orlando Hunter and Ricarrdo Valentine, who have collaborated as Orlando + Ricarrdo; vocalist and composer Drea Reynolds; and writer, educator and designer Erin Sharkey (June 16-26, 2022).
Penumbra also has a conversation series, hosted by artistic director Sarah Bellamy, that will tackle issues around climate justice (Dec. 13), criminal justice (Feb. 7, 2022), health equity (April 11, 2022) and education (June 13, 2022).
Tickets go on sale Oct. 18. Call 651-224-3180 or visit penumbratheatre.org.