1920: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom | Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is set in 1927. Legendary blues singer Ma Rainey and her band players convene in a Chicago studio to record a new album. As their conversation unfolds, their bantering, storytelling and arguing raise questions of race, art and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers.

CAST LIST

STURDYVANT..........George Morfogen

IRVIN..........................Tuck Milligan

CUTLER......................Charles Weldon

TOLEDO......................Clarke Peters

SLOW DRAG...............Harvy Blanks

LEVEE..........................Larry Gilliard

MA RAINEY..................Ebony Jo-Ann

DUSSIE MAE.................Joniece Abbott-Pratt

POLICEMAN...................Lucas Caleb Rooney 

SYLVESTER....................Jonathan Majors

With original music by Grammy-nominated composer Bill Sims, Jr

Watch a video excerpt: 

View slideshow:

<strong>The Cast of 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'</strong>
The Cast of 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

The actors, directors, executive producer and musicians behind the production.

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>Inside the Control Room</strong>
Inside the Control Room

The Greene Space production team meeting before showtime.

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>The Composer</strong>
The Composer

The production featured original music by Bill Sims, Jr.

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>The Backdrop</strong>
The Backdrop

Putting finishing touches on the stage, designed by Hollis King.

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>The Director</strong>
The Director

Ruben Santiago-Hudson directed the performance. He also serves as the series Artistic Director.

 

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>Ma Rainey</strong>
Ma Rainey

Ebony Jo-Ann, understudy for both the Broadway debut and its revival, starred as Ma Rainey.

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>Backstage</strong>
Backstage

Joniece Abbot-Pratt, who played Dussie Mae, before the show.

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>Going Over Lines</strong>
Going Over Lines

Charles Weldon, prepping before his performance as Cutler.

( Matthew Septimus )

Larry Gilliard, Jr., who played Levee, in the green room.

( Matthew Septimus )

Tuck Milligan performed in the role of Irvin.

( Matthew Septimus )

Jonathan Majors, going over pages for the role of Sylvester.

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>The Video Team</strong>
The Video Team ( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>In the Green Room</strong>
In the Green Room

The cast backstage.

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>The Executive Producer</strong>
The Executive Producer

"It has been a journey of years to arrive at this night," Executive Producer Indira Etwaroo told the audience before the show. 

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>The Reading</strong>
The Reading

The cast takes the stage.

( Matthew Septimus )
( Matthew Septimus )

Larry Gilliard, Jr. as Levee

( Matthew Septimus )

Charles Weldon as Cutler

( Matthew Septimus )

Harvy Blanks (left) as Slow Drag, and Clarke Peters as Toledo

( Matthew Septimus )

Joniece Abbot-Pratt as Dussie Mae

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong?Madame Rainey! Get it straight!</strong>

Ebony Jo-Ann as Ma Rainey

( Matthew Septimus )

Tuck Milligan as Irvin

( Matthew Septimus )
<strong>The Music</strong>
The Music

Musicians Clark Gayton, Kenny Rampton and Booker King

( Matthew Septimus )

George Morfogen as Sturdyvant

( Matthew Septimus )

Lucas Caleb Rooney as the policeman

( Matthew Septimus )

Jonathan Majors as Sylvester

( Matthew Septimus )

Ebony Jo-Ann as Ma Rainey

( Matthew Septimus )
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