Society & Culture

UGA’s Black Theatrical Ensemble presents Sweet Mama Stringbean

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Black Theatrical Ensemble will present Sweet Mama Stringbean, a musical based on the life of entertainer Ethel Waters, as its fall 2010 main stage production. Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3 and 4, at 7 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 2:30 p.m. at Seney-Stovall Chapel.

Sweet Mama Stringbean explores the life and spiritual conflict of Ethel Waters, famed Harlem Renaissance performer whose career spanned five decades as a singer and actress on stage, in film and on television. Aging and severely overweight, Waters is faced with a waning career and the prospect of an impoverished old age, when a dream of her earlier life and career and of a childhood spiritual awakening opens her to a new future with the Billy Graham Crusade.

Sweet Mama Stringbean was originally produced Off Broadway and written by University of Georgia Ph.D. graduate Beth Turner. Turner is editor of the nationally syndicated magazine Black Masks, a 25-year-old publication focusing on Black performing arts.

The production isdirected by UGA student Lynwoodt Bernard, an MFA candidate in the department of theatre and film studies. Tickets are $5 for students with valid UGACards who pay activity fees on the Athens campus and $7 for non-students. Tickets are available at the Tate Student Center cashier window, which is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The production is sponsored by the African American Cultural Center, an office of the Department of Campus Life/Intercultural Affairs in the UGA Division of Student Affairs. For further information on the African American Cultural Center, see