Actors’ Warehouse will present ‘The Amen Corner’

From left, Lee Wallace, L'Tanya Van Hamersvald and Rhonda Wilson are pictured during rehearsal for The Amen Corner.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.

You may cry, maybe even laugh a little, and certainly be uplifted by the gospel music during "The Amen Corner," a classic play by James Baldwin that explores the role of the church in the African-American family.



What: “The Amen Corner,” a classic play by poet and author James Baldwin.
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 17 for free special preview and 8 p.m. Jan. 18-19, Jan. 24-26, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1-2 and 3 p.m. Jan. 20, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3.
Tickets: $15; 2 for 1 on Thursdays.
Information: Call 352-301-5823 or 352-870-0064.

Directed by Gainesville resident Steven H. Butler, the play, originally done in three acts, opens with a free special preview at 8 p.m. Jan 17, followed by other performances at 8 p.m. Jan. 18-19, Jan. 24-26, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1-2 and 3 p.m. Jan. 20, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 at The Actors' Warehouse at 608 N. Main St.

Tickets will be $15 for general admission and two tickets for the price of one on Thursdays and available at the door or online at, then click on "Now Showing" and then on "Tickets."

"‘The Amen Corner' is a play about faith and family, about the gulf between black men and black women and black fathers and black sons," said Butler. "It is a scalding, uplifting, sorrowful and exultant masterpiece of the modern American theater."

Baldwin (1924-1987) is one of America's most imminent writers, a novelist, essayist, playwright and poet. "The Amen Corner," which is Baldwin's first work for the theater, centers around a wife who is a preacher having to deal with her long-wandering jazz-playing husband who comes home to die. The play is set in a church in Harlem and in the apartment of Margaret Alexander, the pastor.

"The love, confusion, drama and good music which frequently goes on in the black community is part of this play," said Gainesville resident Brenadette Harper, who is the assistant director. Harper said the play is true to Baldwin's original script, with some changes in the music.

Rhonda Wilson, founder and director of The Actors' Warehouse, will play Odessa. The cast also will include Amanda Edwards as Alexander, Shontae White as Luke, L'Tanya Van Hamersvald as Sister Moore, Nykki Barnes as Sister Boxer, Lee A. Wallace as Brother Boxer, Lamont Wallace as David, Anna Williams as Sister Rice, LaKesha Hobdy as Sister Sally and Danielle Butler as church member Ida Jackson.

"This James Baldwin classic drama continues to give audiences a chance to reflect on life and love," Butler said.

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