Hattiloo Season 17

This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.


Conceived by Sheldon Epps
April 12 – May 5, 2024

The soul of the blues wails out full and strong in Blues in the Night, a scorching, Tony-nominated musical! The 26 hot and torchy numbers that tell of the sweet, sexy, and sorrowful experiences that three women have with the lying, cheating snake of a man who does them wrong will leave you energized, inspired and ready to wail.

The interweaving stories are defined through glorious songs that cover the range of this indigenous American art form, from Bessie Smith to Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more, telling of the pain and misery of life and love — and also of the dogged determination to get through it all — that is the essence of the blues.

Approximate run time: 2 hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

Previous Plays


Written by Charles White
February 23 – March 24, 2024

Promising young black actor Steve Harrison will stop at nothing to achieve success. He uses his charm to deceive and undermine older actor and mentor Marcus Chandler and make opportunities for himself to get on the Broadway stage. Steve achieves success in the black theater world, but the enemies he makes on his quest have long memories and stand in the way of his Broadway ambitions.

Succession explores the world of Black theatre through the actions of Steve Harrison, a promising young actor, who tramples over his mentor, Marcus Chandler, and all other perceived obstacles in his relentless quest to get on the Broadway stage.

Approximate run time: 1 hour, 45 minutes, with no intermission.


Written by Dominique Morisseau
February 2-25, 2024

Two Black American women – an enslaved rebel and a professor at a contemporary university – are having parallel experiences of institutional racism, though they live over a century apart. Tony-nominated playwright Dominique Morisseau’s exacting new play explores the reins that racial and gender bias still hold over American educational systems today.

This show contains strong language and sexual content. It is not suitable for children under the age of 18.

Approximate run time: 2 hours, with no intermission.

Sponsored by Preserver Partners 


July 28 – August 20, 2023

The Color Purple begins with 14-year-old Celie Harris, pregnant with her second child and the victim of unspeakable cruelty at the hands of her male family members. As she comes of age, her babies are taken from her, she is married off to an abusive husband, and her sister runs away.

Step by tiny step — and with the help of two courageous Black women — our hero rises up, gains her independence, and rebuilds her life from scratch.

The musical adaptation of The Color Purple features awe-inspiring soul, gospel, jazz, and blues vocals underpinned by raw dialogue and a masterful plot. It is a triumphant, uplifting piece of art that reaffirms some fundamental truths: that Black is beautiful, that women are powerful, and that love is love.

Approximate run time: 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.


in the Black Box Theatre
Written by Lorraine Hansberry
August 25 – September 24, 2023 (Black Box)

Set on Chicago’s South Side, Lorraine Hansberry’s celebrated play concerns the divergent dreams and conflicts in three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis, and matriarch Lena.

When her deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. Hansberry’s portrait of one family’s struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.

Approximate run time: 2 hours 30 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.


Written by Suzan-Lori Parks
September 29 – October 22, 2023

Offered his freedom if he joins his enslaver in the ranks of the Confederacy, Hero, an enslaved Black man, must choose whether to leave the woman and people he loves for what may be yet another empty promise. As his decision brings him face-to-face with a nation at war with itself, the loved ones Hero left behind debate whether to escape or wait for his return…only to discover that for Hero, free will may have come at a great spiritual cost.

Father Comes Home From the Wars is an explosively powerful drama about the mess of war, the cost of freedom, and the heartbreak of love, with all three parts seen in one night. Part 1 introduces us to Hero. In Part 2, a band of rebel soldiers test Hero’s loyalty as the cannons approach. Part 3 finds Hero’s loved ones anxiously awaiting his return.

A devastatingly beautiful dramatic work filled with music, wit, and great lyricism, Father Comes Home From the Wars is an epic tale about holding on to who we are and what we love in a country that both brings us together and rips us apart.

Finalist: 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Winner! 2015 Obie Award for Playwriting

Approximate run time: 2 hours and 50 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.


Written by Ekundayo Bandele
Presented by Hattiloo Theatre School

Fridays December 1st & 8th | 6pm
Saturdays December 2nd & 9th | 12pm

Tickets on Sale Tuesday, November 14th

Sponsored by the KGR Group & Lenny’s Sub Shop


Written by Ekundayo Bandele
November 17 – December 17, 2023

Two days before winter break, Nate, Ida, and Rosa are assigned to write a research paper that chronicles how African Americans have celebrated Christmas throughout history. When they arrive at Nate’s house, they find his grandfather –Granddad – napping in a living room chair. They tiptoe quietly toward the kitchen, but not quietly enough.

When Granddad awakes, he’s immediately interested in the children’s assignment. A former Pullman Porter, Granddad summons the magical Soul Train, to transport them all into the past so that they can witness, firsthand, how African Americans celebrated Christmas.

Their first stop is during the 1850s, where they watch enslaved Black people celebrate with African drumming and dancing. Next, they find themselves at a holiday party during the Harlem Renaissance, where they jam to jazz music. In the 1950’s, they’re swept up in a Civil Rights rally. In the 1970s they’re dazzled at a holiday disco party. And in the 80s they witness two New York hip-hop crews battle it out for the Christmas crown.

This holiday spectacle is a time machine through the evolution of the African American Christmas experience.

Approximate run time: 1 hour 20 minutes with no intermission.