Triangle Performance Ensemble Presents First virtual performance of Black Nativity Durham

Annual Durham Production Streams On Demand for the 14th Christmas Season

One of Durham’s top traditions continues this weekend in a nontraditional way. Triangle Performance Ensemble presents Black Nativity Durham as a virtual production for the first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Produced by Wendell Tabb and co-produced by Xavier Cason, the annual holiday musical is celebrating 14 years of exhibiting the true reason for the Christmas season. Adapted and directed by Tabb, but originally conceived by Langston Hughes, Black Nativity is a soulful, gospel celebration about the birth of Jesus Christ. Each year, the show opens on the third weekend in December and will continue with this tradition for 2020. The show streams on demand via ShowTix4U beginning Friday, December 18, 2020, until December 31, 2020. Ticket prices range from $10 to $15 and are available to purchase online now at

Mary, the mother of Jesus, played by Tyra Scott, and ensemble celebrate the birth of the Christ child. (Photo by Devyn Edwards)

Black Nativity Durham is Wendell Tabb’s adaptation of the story about the birth of Jesus Christ based upon Hughes’ version of the Christmas story. Tabb’s adaptation has transported audiences to the momentous birth of Christ for over a decade. “Durham’s Black Nativity has a perfect home with Triangle Performance Ensemble. As it has been nurtured and cared for in our community for over ten years, I am excited to see this amazing gospel experience reach even more hearts and souls worldwide with this year’s virtual celebration,” states the show’s musical director Xavier Cason. “We are celebrating 14 years of Durham’s Black Nativity. This is an annual event that has similar traditions all over the world,” says Mr. Wendell Tabb, the director and producer. “Our adaptation features a cast of over 100 of some of the area’s most talented singers, dancers, actors and musicians, all coming together on one stage to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,” said Tabb. “It’s an amazing group of musicians and singers that come to put together this show. Seeing so many individuals with such a wealth of talent work so seamlessly together year after year is another outstanding feature of the show,” says Cason.

Mary, played by Tyra Scott, and Joseph, played by John Carter Jr., adore the baby Jesus as the midwife, played by Tiffany Agerston, looks on. (Photo by Devyn Edwards)

Comprised of both original music and contemporary gospel favorites Black Nativity is different each year. Although presented annually, Tabb and Cason work diligently to create new artistic experiences throughout the production. “Over the past 14 years, the show’s music evolved tremendously featuring gospel classics, rousing contemporary spiritual pieces and original music and arrangements,” said Tabb. Audiences can look forward to experiencing an uplifting and undeniably spiritual celebration. Durham’s Black Nativity is an excellent opportunity for all generations to focus on the true meaning of the Christmas season.

A scene of adoration from Black Nativity, starring Tyra Scott as Mary, John Carter Jr. as Joseph, Laprince Miller Smith as Midwife, and Cassandra Johnson and Ken Hinton as Narrators. (Photo by Devyn Edwards)

TRIANGLE PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLE (TPE) is a nonprofit theatre arts company of Durham, North Carolina. The organization aims to develop professional talents in the performing arts (theatre, music, dance) for Durham and surrounding communities. TPE seeks to provide golden opportunities for audience members to experience innovative and creative theatre. Dr. Linda Kerr Norflett is the founder and Chair Emeritus.

For more information, visit

Social Media: @blacknativitydurhamtpe (Instagram), @BN_DurhamTPE (Twitter)

The entire ensemble celebrates as Mary and Joseph hold the baby Jesus aloft. (Photo by Devyn Edwards)