Gospel Musical


August 25 - September 17, 2017

Cantey V. Sutton Theatre (General Admission)

Three performances added: September 15 – 17! A moving and celebratory musical play in which hats become a springboard for an exploration of Black history and identity is seen through the eyes of a young black woman who has come down South to stay with her aunt after her brother is killed in Brooklyn.

Hats are everywhere, in exquisite variety, and the characters use the hats to tell tales concerning everything from the etiquette of hats to their historical and contemporary social functioning. There is a hat for every occasion, from flirting to churchgoing to funerals to baptisms, and the tradition of hats is traced back to African rituals and slavery to the New Testament and current fashion.

By Regina Taylor
Adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry

Directed by Terra Hodge

Thanks to our show sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Raleigh Little Theatre is supported by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, as well as the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

North Carolina Arts Council    

Thanks also to our media sponsors, The Triangle Tribune and Arts Now.

Images courtesy of Areon Mobasher Photography. Read more about the importance of hats in African-American culture in Yolanda Rabun’s blog for ArtsNow.

There will be a post-show discussion after the performance on Sunday, August 27 co-sponsored by the African American Cultural Center of NC State University, moderated by Moses T. Alexander Greene (Director).

The cast of “Crowns” will hold an open rehearsal at Cameron Village Regional Library from 7-8:30pm on Wednesday, August 9. The cast will also perform before “Hidden Figures” at Movies in the Garden on Thursday, August 10.

RLT will present a post-show discussion featuring Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, PhD immediately after the 3:00 P.M. performance of “#Crowns” on September 10th, 2017. The discussion will be live-streamed via Facebook Live and moderated by Mike Williams, Curator of ArtsNow NC, which is published by The News & Observer. Congresswoman Adams is interviewed in the book “Crowns”.

Ticket Information

Tickets available now. Buy them online or from the box office at 919-821-3111. Group sales are also available from the box office.

Crowns is part of the RLT Sutton Series.

Ticket prices (including taxes):

  • Adults: $28
  • Students/Seniors: $24
  • First Sunday: $15 for all

Seniors are age 62 and up. Students are through college.

Cast List

Mother Shaw
Lynnette Barber
India Williams
Chanda Branch
Aya Wallace
LaToya Smith
Chelsey Moore
Joshua Johnson

Accessibility Information

  • All performances are wheelchair accessible.

  • Assistive listening devices are available for all performances. A hearing loop has also been installed in the Cantey V. Sutton Theatre.

  • Audio description for those with visual disabilities is provided by Arts Access. The Sunday, September 3 performance at 3pm will be described.