Intense, visually rich and, above all, very moving.
The Family Repertory Company
James Weldon Johnson's
"The Crucifixion, an Oratorio"
Virtual in 2021
Holy Saturday April 3
Each performance is completely different, without compromising the story. Sometimes Jesus is played by a woman. The message is that Jesus is beyond gender, that women suffer the same plight as men.
The Family has been presenting this piece at various venues in the New York area during Holy Week, since the late 1970s.
About The Crucifixion
“The Crucifixion” is a musical adaptation of the poem by James Weldon Johnson from his 1927 book of poems "God's Trombone,” patterned after traditional African-American religious oratory. Praised by Henry Louis Gates and Cornel West, Johnson saw the trombone as the musical instrument most resembling the range and sound of the human voice.
“The Crucifixion” was first conceived of by the founder, Marvin F. Camillo, Sr. 40 years ago. We are now committed to doing this every year, as our giveback to churches and communities throughout the tri-state area. The concepts and some of the music changes from year to year, but what is consistent is that it is a celebration of the joy and rebirth of the Easter season, and an opportunity for artists to collaborate and create and share with the audiences we connect with
About James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, civil rights activist. He is best remembered for his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917. In 1920, he was the first African American to be chosen as executive secretary of the organization, effectively the operating officer. He served in that position from 1920 to 1930. Johnson established his reputation as a writer, and was known during the Harlem Renaissance for his poems, novels, and anthologies collecting both poems and spirituals of black culture.
He was appointed under President Theodore Roosevelt as US consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua for most of the period from 1906 to 1913. In 1934 he was the first African-American professor to be hired at New York University. Later in life, he was a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University, a historically black university.
About the Family Repertory Company
The Family Repertory Company, founded by Marvin F. Camillo, Sr. (aka Pancho) during the 70’s, has always been a company committed to creating a community for artists and an outlet for creative expression.
This image is from the play Short Eyes with the original cast. Pancho is in the back row, middle, all in black.
Short Eyes garnered many awards including the Drama Desk and Obie Award for Best Play and Best Director, Marvin F. Camillo. Sr.
Now under the direction of Marvin F. Camillo Valentine, or Panchito, his son, (in all black) the legacy continues as The Family brings together artists and audiences of all ages, from all cultures and backgrounds, to share their stories.
The Family presents musical cabarets, short stories and various other theatrical performances in Manhattan, Staten Island, New Jersey, and Westchester County.
They also teach workshops in movement, voice, improvisation, audition technique
and social media savvy.
They partner with various churches, community centers and arts organizations to help bring the arts to all who are interested.