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Published 11/25/2003
"Black Nativity" to Appear at Owens' Center for Fine and Performing Arts

A familiar biblical Christmas story will be told with African-American traditions and spirit as Owens Community College’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts presents "Black Nativity" from December 4-9. The first production of the holiday classic will occur at 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 4.

Written by the literary poet Langston Hughes in 1961, "Black Nativity" is a celebration of the renewing power of gospel music and African-American church. Attendees will have the opportunity to relive the story of the birth of Jesus Christ against the backdrop of colorful song and spectacular dance.

"Owens’ Center for the Fine and Performing Arts is proud to continue our inaugural production season with a show that embraces African-American traditions and the Christmas spirit," said Amanda Uhle, Owens Operations Manager for the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. "‘Black Nativity’ is an electrifying and entertaining performance, and the perfect way to begin the holiday season."

The production of "Black Nativity" will include more than 80 individuals consisting of Owens students, professional artists and community members. Thirty of the participating cast members are involved with the local Clarence Smith Community Chorus. The musical organization is serving as a co-sponsor for the "Black Nativity" show.

Now in its 29th season, the Clarence Smith Community Chorus is dedicated to providing communities in Northwest Ohio with culturally inspiring musical performances. The African-American group has appeared with nearly every major musical organization in the Toledo area, including the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, the Toledo Opera Association and numerous civic and church choirs.

Serving as the director and choreographer for the show is Ronald "Smokey" Stevens. The nationally renowned choreographer and performer has appeared in six Broadway musicals and three motion pictures. In addition, he was a television guest on "The Bob Hope Special" and "The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon".

The holiday production is scheduled to appear at 8 p.m. from December 4-9 in the College’s Mainstage Theatre. A matinee show will occur at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 6. For more information regarding tickets to "Black Nativity", contact the Center for Fine and Performing Arts at 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. ARTS or (567) 661-2787.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 26 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 40,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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