By Michelle Richardson,
Special to the AFRO
This holiday season, “Pooled: A Gospel Musical Drama” comes to the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts. The play is brought to audiences by playwright Moses T. Alexander and Li V Mahob Productions.
Pooled follows Delsin Jacobs’ arrival to the Pool of Bethesda and his single-minded determination to be the next person to receive its healing properties. According to legend, the first person to step into the pool after its waters are touched by an angel (troubled) is healed of any infirmity—physical, emotional, mental, relational, sexual.
Driven to receive a healing that enables him to see what his heart looked like before he was sexually abused as a child, it is Delsin’s interactions with others at the pool that challenges his belief that he’s the only one worthy to be healed.
Premiering in 2018 at the Kennedy Theatre of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, N.C., Pooled was named one of the 25 best Black theater productions in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa by the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF).
“It just jumped out at us when we saw it. Pooled is breaking the mold of what people think of in terms of traditional gospel musicals,” said Jackie Alexander, artistic director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company and the NBTF.
Alexander, a Long Island, New York native, moved to Washington, D.C. in 1999 shortly after ending his writing position on ABC’s ‘All My Children.’ In his 12 years in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) region, Alexander has been communications officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), a public information officer in the Office of the Mayor, and an adjunct English professor at PGCPS. Alexander currently serves as director of performing arts and films at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.
In 2021, Alexander received the Broadway World Award for “Original Script of the Decade” for Pooled.
Alexander tapped Tony nominated producer and Broadway veteran Valencia Yearwood, who has directed Broadway hits such as For Colored Girls, Thoughts of a Colored Man, The Lion King, and Once Upon A Mattress to direct Pooled.
Alexander and Yearwood aren’t the only heavy hitters involved in Pooled. Under the musical direction of Carolyn Colquitt are vocal powerhouses Tamika Law and Jaali K. Boyd, both former Prince George’s County residents.
“I hope audiences will come to see the show, experience the gifts of joy, healing, laughter, forgiveness, and self-love, and feel the power of their own pool experience,” stated Alexander. Pooled runs from Dec. 2-3. Tickets range from $37-$4 and can be purchased at www.Bowie.org. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets by calling the BCPA Box Office at 301-805-6880.
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