Off-Broadway Historical Drama Brings the Tuskegee Airmen Center Stage at THEARC Theater

Off-Broadway Historical Drama Brings the Tuskegee Airmen Center Stage at THEARC Theater


Washington, D.C. – February 16, 2016  Described by The New York Times as Layon Gray’s “tough to resist” drama detailing the bravery of  the Tuskegee Airmen, Black Angels Over Tuskegee delivers an epic re-telling set against the backdrop of World War II. The show makes its anniversary debut in Washington, D.C. at THEARC Theater during its 2016 United States tour from Thursday, February 25-Friday, February 26 at 7:30 pm. The play explores the airmen’s collective struggle with Jim Crow laws, while highlighting their intelligence, patriotism, and dreams of an inclusive fair society through the brotherhood they found in each other.

The Tuskegee Airman conquered isolation and prejudice to become one of the world’s most revered fighter pilot squadrons. Their achievements paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. An expertly selected cast of talented actors transport the true life experiences of American heroes to the stage in one of New York’s longest running best Off-Broadway productions. Backstage proclaims Black Angels Over Tuskegee “…grooves like a tight jazz band, with snappy riffs of dialogue, bluesy monologues, and a couple of spontaneous song and dance routines!”

Written and directed by Layon Gray, Black Angels Over Tuskegee goes beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel in spite of all the overwhelming odds against them. In addition to performing at the Smithsonian Institute, Black Angels Over Tuskegee won a NAACP Award for Best Ensemble, a New York Audelco Award for Special Achievement and an Artistic Director Achievement Award for Best Play. During nationwide and international tours the play has received sponsorships from The National Urban league, NAACP and Wells Fargo.

The production is a part of THEARC Theater’s annual programming provided during February in observance of Black History Month. THEARC Theater presents Black History Month provides fantastic dance, music and dramatic performances highlighting important moments, movements and experiences relating to African American history and culture. It is sponsored by Building Bridges Across the River and Wells Fargo and is powered by the I CAN@THEARC Technical Theater Internship program. I CAN is a year-round, paid internship program providing training in the areas of sound, lighting, stage & house management, set design and health and life skills to ward 7 and 8 youth between the ages of 15-22.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit

Media Contact: Nikki Peele                                                                                                                                         

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Twitter: @THEARC_DC                                                                                     




Officially opened in October 2005, The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) is a $27 million, 110,000 square-foot campus located east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC's Ward 8.  THEARC is a home away from home for the many underserved children and adults of east of the river, enabling them to participate in dance classes, music instruction, fine arts, academics, continuing education, mentoring, tutoring, recreation, medical and dental care, and other services at a substantially reduced cost or no cost at all. THEARC was established by Building Bridges Across the River, a non-profit organization with the mission to improve the quality of life for children and adults by providing leadership, management, and fiscal oversight of the campus and grounds. Through a collaboration of partner organizations, THEARC provides access to quality educational, health, cultural, recreation and social service programs. By providing these programs, BBAR and its partners aim to contribute to the revitalization of the ward 7 & 8 communities.

THEARC Partner Organizations

Building Bridges Across the River / Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington: FBR Branch / Children’s National Health Center /Children's Health Project of DC / ArtReach at THEARC / Covenant House Washington / Levine Music / Trinity Washington University / The Washington Ballet / Washington School for Girls

About THEARC Theater

Operating with the belief that access to arts and diverse cultural activities is the essence of community development, THEARC Theater is the first theater of its kind in Washington, DC’s ward 8. It was created to provide DC residents living east of the Anacostia River with entertaining and enlightening experiences. THEARC Theater is home to over 300 events each year. As a part of THEARC’s mission to serve the community with affordable, high-quality arts entertainment, THEARC Theater provides exceptional annual programming under the leadership of BBAR.


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