The Black Arts Alliance of Southwest Missouri will premiere the "One Night Only" at the Judith Enyeart Reynolds School of the Performing Arts auditorium Saturday, Feb. 13.
Organized by Black Arts Alliance of Southwest Missouri founder Imari Stout, “One Night Only” is a Springfield original variety show encompassing the talent of over eight Black performers, including Missouri State University assistant professor of sociology Lyle Foster.
Foster said he will be singing the song “Summertime,” as well as the final song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” alongside the rest of the cast.
Stout said she wished for “One Night Only” to be performed at the Springfield Little Theatre, but with “The Sound of Music” being performed, the timing didn’t work.
Stout, alongside her Springfield friends Nki Calloway and Keegan Winfield, has been interested in theater since they were kids. The three of them started the Black Arts Alliance of Southwest Missouri in August of 2020 and first organized “One Night Only” with the Landers Theatre in October 2020.
The piece will be socially distanced, have 50 seats available and performers will wear masks throughout the show. It will also be recorded and made available for public access at a later date, according to Stout.
Stout said “One Night Only” will be a celebration of Black talent. Performances will include either musical pieces from predominantly Black shows, a musical number by a Black character or a piece written by a Black composer.
Two poems from Black writers Nikki Giovanni and Langson Hughes are also being performed.
Stout said COVID-19 slowed down the production process, as actors had to make sure they were in a place to be able to socially distance.. This resulted in using Zoom, which made things “different” due to the process of coordinating music to go with the number. Despite this, “One Night Only” has come together “really nicely.”
“Our talent pool is amazing,” Stout said. “We are pulling talent where there wouldn’t have been any before. Like people who wouldn’t normally be involved in musical theater but have a voice, you invite them into the theater and teach them how to use their tools and you create a sense of community.”
Tickets for “One Night Only” can be purchased on the Springfield Little Theatre website.
Follow Tinsley Merriman on Twitter, @merrimantinsley
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