“When the plot of a dystopian novel and the daily churn of the news cycle start overlapping, admiration for a given author’s prescience may make way for alarm.” —The New York Times
Based on the novels Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler, this genre-defying work of political theater featuring a powerhouse ensemble of 20 singers, actors and musicians harnesses 200 years of Black music to give musical life to Butler’s acclaimed science fiction novel. Parable of the Sower, set in 2024 and published in 1993, presciently grapples with many of the same issues we face today—global warming, corporate influence over government, a destabilized economy, water scarcity, food scarcity, the privatization of social services, homelessness, public safety, a return of long forgotten diseases and the profit-making machine that runs the medical industry. Written by singer, composer and producer Toshi Reagon in collaboration with her mother, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon (song leader, composer, scholar, social activist and founder of Sweet Honey In the Rock), Parable Of The Sower is a mesmerizing theatrical work of rare power and beauty that reveals deep insights into gender, race and the future of human civilization.
Originally commissioned by The Public Theater, and Co-commissioned by The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi. World Premiere at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi November 9, 2017. It is made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower was developed with support by The Public Theater and during a residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York, NY. Additional support provided by the Apollo’s Salon Series Program. Fiscally sponsored by Cal Shakes.
Funds for the CAP UCLA performance provided by the Ginny Mancini Endowment for Vocal Performance and Royce Center Circle Endowment Fund. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. A component of the creative development of Parable of the Sower provided through CAP UCLA’s annual artist residency partnership with the Ucross Foundation. CAP UCLA creative development initiatives are funded through the generous support of Susan & Leonard Nimoy and the Good Works Foundation.