Prospect Theater Company is presenting a work-in-process concert presentation of The Oscar Micheaux Suite, the next event in Prospect’s IGNITE Concert Series. This ongoing initiative features today’s new voices shaping tomorrow’s musical theater. Concert performances will take place on Saturday, March 26th at 2pm & 7pm, and Sunday, March 27th at 2pm at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street).
The Oscar Micheaux Suite is a special event featuring a six-piece jazz ensemble as well as featured vocalists, debuting new songs from a jazz musical in development. The music is composed by multi-GRAMMY Award nominated jazz artist Alphonso Horne, who is also the bandleader and will play trumpet for the engagement. Lyrics are by Jesse L. Kearney, Jr. and Peter Mills. The concert director is Kimille Howard.
The Oscar Micheaux Suite is inspired by the life and work of Oscar Micheaux, America’s first major Black filmmaker. Micheaux’s groundbreaking films focused on contemporary Black life in the first half of the 20th century, racial relationships, and the struggle of African Americans trying to achieve success. He sought to create films that would counter white portrayals of African Americans, and used the emerging art form of silent film to push back against the racism of early Hollywood, representing stories from Black experience. The Oscar Micheaux Suite aims to illuminate his legacy – but also spark dialogue about the history of America’s ongoing struggle for racial equality, including representation on stage.
“Oscar Micheaux deserves to be remembered. His legacy continues to provide inspiration, and is a major influence on cinema and American entertainment,” said lyricist Jesse L. Kearney, Jr.
The Oscar Micheaux Project is honored to have been selected for a developmental residency at the 2022 Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals, one of the premier writers’ residencies in the nation. The JMF Writers Grove at Goodspeed provides a sanctuary for composers, lyricists, and librettists to embark on new musical theater work in an environment rich with creative energy.
Composer Alphonso Horne was awarded a 2022 Individual Artists Composer Commission by the New York State Council on the Arts, to continue the development of the score and orchestrations for this original jazz musical. NYSCA’s Individual Artists Program venerates the power of the individual by supporting composers, theatre artists, and film and media makers, enabling them to successfully realize their visions, and is made possible by support from Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.
Tickets ($40) are now available and can be purchased by visiting 59e59.org or by calling 646-892-7999. Student Rush tickets and ’30 & Under’ Membership tickets are also available.
Additional information, including complete casting and creative team, will be announced shortly. For more information, please visit ProspectTheater.org.