Black Pearl Sings!

Roz White as "Pearl" Thom Goertel
Performance Dates

Black Pearl Sings!, set in the Depression-era, imagines a meeting between a Library of Congress musicologist and a jailed African-American woman with a soulful voice and steely spirit in a powerful evocative story of how they must work together to fulfill both their goals.

The work features over 20 Folk and Spiritual songs in the search for the origins of indigenous folk music and preservation of the musical heritage of the Gullah culture and is loosely based on the discovery in prison of legendary folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, “Lead Belly,” by LoC folklorists John and Alan Lomax and their subsequent musical partnership.

Black Pearl Sings! uncovers a compelling story on a currently provocative topic: who gets to tell and (keep) the story.

Production Information

Approximate Running Time
120 minutes


Alberta "Pearl" Johnson
Susannah Mullally

Creative Team

Set Designer
Costume Designer
Choreographer for musicals
Choreographer for plays
Musical Director
Sound Designer
Projections/Media Designer