Milwaukee’s newest annual holiday musical, Black Nativity by Langston Hughes’ song play is a testament to the power of gospel music, telling the classic story of the Nativity through a combination of African American scripture, poetry, dance, and song. Black Nativity by Langston Hughes is directed by Malkia Stampley and features a talented, all local cast and crew.
Each year, Stampley inspires social change through acknowledgement of a current community issue through performance prologue and post-performance audience engagement. “I allow a social issue that affects Milwaukee and the national community to be a guide as I stage the production. I like to think of it as a backdrop, a seed that will grow on its own once you leave the stage” says Stampley. She adds, “Our production takes place today, in a city like Milwaukee, so I also ask myself every year 'is this relevant?'
In 2016, I was struck by the unrest in Sherman Park. In 2017, the killing of unarmed Black men still dominated my heart as well as the controversy of Colin Kaepernick's kneeling and dismissal from the professional game of football. There are so many issues that touch my heart on a daily basis so it's not always an easy task.”