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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

June 30, 2022
July 1-3, 2022
July 6-9, 2022

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom takes place in 1927 as Ma Rainey, the “Mother of the Blues,” is recording some of her trademark blues songs in a ramshackle studio in Chicago. Her fierce and determined personality is demonstrated as Ma Rainey tries to maintain control over her music, which is difficult for a woman of color. By the time Ma Rainey arrives with entourage in tow, recording has fallen badly behind schedule, enraging producers.  Ma’s insistence that her stuttering nephew Sylvester speak the title song’s introduction wreaks further havoc. Adding to her struggle is her opportunistic trumpet player Levee who can only focus on his own much-desired success. As the band waits for various technical problems to be solved, Levee and Cutler come to blows. Levee is then simultaneously fired by Ma for his uncompromising behavior. Highlighted by powerful blues music and Ma Rainey’s intense delivery, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a striking portrayal of rage, racism, self-hatred, and exploitation.

Winner: The 1985 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play

Purchase Tickets

Director: TBA

Show: June 30 and July 1-3, 6-9

Main Stage production

Tickets: $20/$15


  • April 8 @ 6 p.m.
  • April 9 @ 2 p.m.

Roles:  10 (3 black female, 4 black male, 3 white male)

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