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|Black Rep to present Passion of Christ in a gospel opera
Just before the official start of spring and the 2016
Enter season, the Neath Carolina Black Repertory
Company (NCBRC) has announced it will present the
American premiere of the celebrated gospel opera "The
Gospel According to Broadway."
A continuation of "Black Nativity," the production
tells the Passion of Christ narrative by blending 300 years
of African-American sacred music with the moves and
music of well-known Broadway works. Opera is a story
told in song and dance. The Passion of Christ in song and
dance will be under the co-direction of two broadway vet
nans: Mabel Robinson and Chapman Roberts.
Roberts has worked as a special events musical direc
tor and supervisor for President Barack Obama, Ronald
Reagan's Kennedy Center Honors, the Harlem Gospel
Singers and American Idol among other venues. He came
up with the concept for this gospel opera. It was first per
formed in London.
With this gospel opera, European opera singing tech
niques are mixed with African-American sacred music
"We will re-create a church atmosphere at the theater,"
Roberts said in a YouTube.com interview. The audience
"should be prepared to have church."
In this gospel opera, three women are united in their
grief and their faith: Mary, the mother of Jesus; Claudia,
the wife of Pontius Pilot; and the mother of Judas Iscariot.
Robinson, well known throughout Winston-Salem and
across the nation, retired from her post as NCBRC's long
time artistic director earlier this year. Robinson will use
her background as a dancer, choreographer, playwright
and director to craft meaningful moments on the stage to
accompany the production that was honored in 2007 by
the BBC Concert Orchestra, Michael Terry Singers USA,
and London Community Gospel Choirs.
Robinson said the show is a must-see production. She
mentioned the play will be "spiritually uplifting" for all
those who see it.
"The Gospel According to Broadway is both electrify
ing and spectacular," Robinson said.
The production will be presented March 16-20 at the
Arts Council Theatre located at 610 Coliseum Drive.
Tickets are available at ncblackrep.org. For additional
information call the North Carolina Black Repertory
office at (336) 723-2266.
Souls to the Polls at St. Paul UMC on Saturday
BY TODD LUCK
Democracy N.C. and the local NAACP will be con
ducting Souls to the Polls Saturday, March 12, at St. Paul
United Methodist Church.
This is St. Paul's first year as an early voting site and
organizers are hoping to attract voters to cast their ballots
at the church on the final day of early voting. Volunteers
will be providing refreshments and nonpartisan voting
information. The event will be held at St. Paul, 2400
Dellabrook Road, when polls are open from 9 am.-l p.m.
While Souls to the Polls is commonly done on Sunday,
that's not an option in Forsyth County since there are no
Sunday hours for early voting.
Democracy N.C. Field Organizer Linda Sutton said
people should come out any way they can during early
voting to exercise their hard-fought right to vote during a
"Voting is the hallmark of what this country stands
for," she said. "It's the hallmark of democracy."
Sutton said St. Paul had the lowest turnout when the
satellite early voting sites opened on Monday, and she is
hoping to increase its turnout with the event.
Since same day registration is still in effect due to a
court action, eligible voters can register on the spot. For
voters who are registered, if a problem is discovered with
their registration, it can be fixed during early voting.
Though most voters are required to show a govern
ment issued photo ID like a driver's license, the N.C.
Board of Elections is promising no voter will be turned
away because they lack an ID. Voters who are unable to
get an acceptable ID can still vote by providing their date
of birth and the last four digits of their social security
number (or by presenting their voter ID card or an accept
able document bearing their name and address like a util
ity bill), and sign a declaration stating the impediment that
prevented them from getting the ID.
Photo by Todd Lack
Political signs promote candidates in front of the
Forsyth County Government Center on Monday,
March 7, because an early voting site is there: the
Board of Elections.
from page Al
the changes, many who
showed up to cast their
ballot early at St. Paul
United Methodist Church
had a state-issued ED.
"The training we
received was very helpful.
So far we haven't had any
issues," Jones said.
Before receiving a bal
lot, or even walking into
the voting place, citizens
must present a state issued
ID. Voters who can't pro
duce an acceptable ID can
cast a provisional ballot.
While many worried
that the new voter ID
process would make the
voting process longer than
it should be, many early
voters said the process was
quick and easy.
Isabell Williams of
Winston-Salem said the
process went smoothly.
"I didn't have any
issues," she said. "I prefer
to cast my ballot early to
beat the large crowds."
According to reports,
in just the fust four days of
early voting, more than
160,000 citizens have
already voted for the
upcoming primary elec
tion, which includes presi
dential, state senate, U.S.
Senate, local races and a
statewide bond issue that
is expected to cost around
As a result of redrawn
district lines, a separate
primary will be held June
7 for U.S. House of
After casting his ballot
at the Forsyth County
Board of Elections center
on the first day of early
voting, Robin Simmons of
Winston-Salem urged oth
ers to take advantage of
early voting as well.
"It's much easier and
you don't have to worry
about long lines," she said.
"I always participate in
early voting. It's a lot less
Listed below are loca
tions where you can sub
mit your ballot for the
March 15 primary. The
early voting period ends
on March 12 at 1 pjn.
?Brown & Douglas
Recreation Center, 4725
Indiana Ave., Winston
3554 Clemmons Road,
Center / Library, 130 E.
Mountain St., Kernersville
6490 Shallowford Road,
?Mazie , Woodruff
Center, 4905 Lansing
?Old Town Recreation
Center, 4550 Shattalon
?Polo Park Recreation
Center, 1850 Polo Road,
?Rural Hall Library,
7125 Broad St., Rural Hall
3185 Buchanan St.,
?St. Paul United
Methodist Church, 2400
?Forsyth County Board
of Elections Center, 201N.
Chestnut St. Winston
Photo by Tcvm Stinsoi
A poll worker helps citizens cast their ballots at the Forsyth County Board of Elections on Friday, March 4.
This is the first time N.C. voters are required to show photo ID to vote.
"Yes. I encour
age everyone to
vote because so
much has been sac
rificed for us to
have this right."
"No I haven't voted. I don't think I'm
going to vote this year because none of
die candidates seem to be willing to
address the issues that have plagued the
"I haven't voted
yet, but I do intend
to before early
The Chronicle (USPS 067-910) was established by Ernest
H. Pitt and Ndubisi Egemonye in 1974 and is published
every Thursday by Winston-Salem Chronicle Publishing
Co. Inc., 617 N. Liberty Street, Winston-Salem, N.C.
27101. Periodicals postage paid at Winston-Salem, N.C.
Annual subscription price is $30.72.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
The Chronicle, P.O. Box 1636
Winston-Salem, NC 27402-1636
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