The Gospel at Colonus


02/26/2018 - 7:30pm - 9:30pm

The Gospel at Colonus

By Lee Breuer and Bob Telson
Directed by Sandra L. Holloway
Original Direction by Jennifer L. Nelson
Musical Direction by e’Marcus Harper-Short
Starring William T. Newman Jr. as Oedipus
Produced in collaboration with Minister Becky Mays and The Women’s Ecumenical Choir

Now lift us up in a blaze of glory.

Avant Bard theatre proudly presents the legendary African American musical The Gospel at Colonus, a soaring celebration of transcendence and the fragility of life. The Gospel at Colonus transforms Sophocles' timeless tale of the last days of Oedipus into a parable for our times. Its message of redemption is sorely needed. With its epic poetry and magnificent score, The Gospel at Colonus reminds us that out of the deepest sorrows, the highest and most uplifting hope can emerge.

Last season The Gospel at Colonus was a sold-out critical and audience hit and Helen Hayes Award recommended. The story combines Greek tragedy and African American heritage. The score is an inspiring fusion of Black church gospel with elements of blues and Motown. Written by Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson, The Gospel at Colonus was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Best Drama in 1985 and won the Obie for Best Musical in 1984.

Avant Bard now revives The Gospel at Colonus in an up-close, unplugged, and intimate production directed by Sandra L. Holloway (Founder, the holloway arts project) based on original direction by Jennifer L. Nelson (Resident Director, Mosaic Theater Company of DC; Founding Artistic Director, African Continuum Theatre Company) with musical direction by e’Marcus Harper-Short (Musical Director of Theater Alliance’s acclaimed Black Nativity). Unlike previous productions of The Gospel at Colonus, which had a megachurch setting, the Avant Bard production evokes a sacred site that draws from and honors the Greek and African roots of the source material.


February 22 to March 25, 2018

Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two
2700 South Lang Street
Arlington, VA 22206

Pay What You Will previews
February 22 to 24 and February 26 at 7:30 pm

Opening/Press Night: February 27 | 7:30 pm

Pay What You Will Thursday evenings March 1 through 22 | 7:30 pm
Friday–Saturday evenings March 2 through 24 | 7:30 pm
Pay What You Will Saturday matinees March 3 through 24 | 2:00 pm
Sunday matinees March 4 through 25 | 2:00 pm
Special (Industry Night) Performance Monday, March 19 | 7:30 pm

Saturday matinees are followed by Unscripted Afterchats with members of the creative team.


Tickets are available online at or by calling 703-418-4808.

General admission is $30 on Fridays; $35 on Saturday evenings and Sundays. Thursdays and Saturday matinees are Pay What You Will, which means you can name your ticket price, any price, at the door (and you can reserve a Pay What You Will ticket online in advance with a $10 minimum).


Hashtag: #AvantGospel

Gunston Arts Center - Theatre II
2700 S Lang Street
Arlington, VA 22206

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