Church Shooting Musical Drama Mother Emanuel Will Highlight Fringe Encore Series | Playbill

News Church Shooting Musical Drama Mother Emanuel Will Highlight Fringe Encore Series Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj's gospel musical earned a Fringe Overall Excellence Award.
Christian Lee Branch, Lauren Shaye, Marquis Gibson and Nicole Stacie Michaela Rynczak

Mother Emanuel, the documentary gospel musical that won FringeNYC's Overall Excellence Award: Musical, returns to Soho Playhouse September 9-17 as part of the Fringe Encore Series.

Conceived by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj and co-written by Maharaj, Adam Mace and Christian Lee Branch, Mother Emanuel is a dramatic interpretation of the events that took place at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on the evening of June 17, 2015, when a young white man named Dylann Roof entered a Bible Study Group and sat for about an hour before fatally shooting nine members of the congregation—who came to be known as the Charleston Nine.

According to production notes, “Traveling through past and present, the story focuses on the final hour of those nine men and women whose actions, both real and imagined, are characterized by their faith, kindness and deep commitment to their families and community, echoing the resilient history of Mother Emanuel Church itself. Enhanced by live music and song that includes a host of stirring spirituals and gospel tunes, Mother Emanuel is both a musical play and a moving testament against gun violence.”

Mother Emanuel is produced by Rebel Theater in association with The Present Company. The cast features Marquis Gibson, Christian Lee Branch, Lauren Shaye and Nicole Stacie. Maharaj also serves as director/choreographer. Musical direction is by Christian Lee Branch.

Soho Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street. Performances are scheduled for September 9, 10, 11, 12 and 17. Tickets are $22. For information and tickets and go to For more information go to

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