Cast Set for National Black Theatre's The Gospel Woman | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Cast Set for National Black Theatre's The Gospel Woman

Presented in partnership with Chelsea Factory, performances of TyLie Shider's new drama will begin in November.

Kala Ross, Ron Emile, Carla R. Stewart

National Black Theatre has announced casting for TyLie Shider's The Gospel Woman, the first workshop production of its 2022-23 season. 

Presented in partnership with Chelsea Factory, performances will be offered November 9-13 at the Chelsea Factory. Shider is an alum of NBT’s I Am Soul Playwright Residency Program, which launched in 2012.

Directed by Adrienne D. Williams (Angela’s Mixtape, Crumbs from the Table of Joy) with musical direction by Aaron Marcellus (Stomp), the cast will feature Kala Ross as Ruth, Carla R. Stewart as Orpah, Charles E. Wallace as Fowler, Ronald Emile as Wino, and Wendell Jordan as Benjamin/Bidder.

Set in Plainfield, New Jersey in the early 1970s, The Gospel Woman tells the story of sisters Ruth and Orpah Fowler, who must find a way to set aside their differences—including a feud stemming from a demo that helped launch Orpah’s award-winning R&B career—if they are to help their aging father keep the family church from foreclosure.

“What TyLie has created during his residency really is addressing the roots of one's maternal and paternal bloodline. He is giving us a glimpse into his inheritance and how that legacy is interwoven with spirit, gospel music, and a deep sense of faith. He is living up to the values of this program, which has been to create a dynamic playground for Black playwrights to unleash their soul on paper. With the collaboration of Adrienne as his director, and Aaron as his MD, the possibilities have been endless. Excited to share as a snapshot the world they have been developing through the eyes of this dynamic cast and creative designers in November,” says National Black Theatre Executive Artistic Director Jonathan McCrory.

Tickets are available at

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