Morgan alum to perform with National Theatre Company of China

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kenneth Alston has accepted an invitation from the National Theatre Company of China and Stanford University to perform at the groundbreaking premiere of Passages of Martin Luther King in Beijing, China. The play, which was written by Stanford professor Clayborne Carson, opens June 21 for five performances in Chinese at the Oriental Pioneer Theatre.

In January of this year, Alston met with representatives from the National Theatre Company in Atlanta at Ebenezer Baptist Church. That day, Alston, who sings regularly with Three Mo' Tenors, was an invited soloist at the Sunday service. 

Alston, joined by gospel singer September Penn of Florida, is arranging the music for the Beijing performance and directing the gospel group, which includes three singers from Stanford University.

The play, which chronicles the life and legacy of the legendary civil rights leader, has been performed across the US and dramatic readings have featured award-winning actor Danny Glover and Condoleezza Rice, now US Secretary of State. Last May, Stanford collaborated with the National Theatre to present a dramatic reading of the play, which was featured in The New York Times.

This will be Alston's first visit to China. He has performed with the world-renowned Morgan State University Choir in the Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and Martinique, was a featured soloist on the HBO original series The Wire in 2003, and sang at the US National Rotunda in Washington, D.C., at the historical lying in state of the civil rights leader Rosa Parks.