E. Faye Butler and Susie McMonagle have been immersed in rehearsals for the play Black Pearl Sings! since December, with Susie starting autoharp lessons at the Old Town School of Folk Music weeks before that – a skill required for her role as “Susannah Mullally.”
Inspired by a true story and set against the backdrop of Depression-era America, Black Pearl Sings! tells the story of Alberta “Pearl” Johnson (Butler), incarcerated in a Texas prison camp. When music collector Susannah (McMonagle) decides that Pearl has a voice and repertoire worth recording, the two women find themselves forging an unlikely partnership – not only to change their own lives, but to preserve a rich musical heritage born before the first African slaves reached American shores, before its significance is lost to the world.
HEAR CLIPS FROM THE FIRST ACT
In this scene, Susannah challenges Pearl to demonstrate that she would be a valuable addition to Susannah’s recordings. Listen
Pearl voices her skepticism of Susannah’s “expertise.” She demands proof that Susannah does what she claims to do. Listen
Black Pearl Sings! starts previews on January 13. For more information, visit the show page.