MFA Alum Tyrone Brown Directs The Negro Passion Play

Written by Mike Thee
March 31, 2014

"The Negro Passion Play," a dramatic depiction of the Passion of Jesus Christ within the context of the American Civil Rights Movement, will be presented on campus in April. The play is the brainchild of Tyrone Brown, MFA in Arts Leadership class of 2010, seen here with choreographer Dani Tirrell.

Brown, administrative coordinator for Counseling and Psychological Services at Seattle University, is the founder and director of Brownbox Theatre. The play has sets and costumes designed by junior Brynne McKeen, a Theatre and Film Studies major.

Brown says he had long been intrigued by the passion play as a genre, calling it "one of the more populist, if not most popular, forms of theatre in the world." More specifically, he was interested in exploring the following: What would have happened if Christ and been a born a black man in the American South during the late '50s and early '60s; what would the American crucifixion be; and what role did religion play in the oppression of African Americans?

Performances are 7:30 p.m. on April 8, 10, 15 and 17, in Campion Ballroom. Tickets are available here.

"The Negro Passion Play" is the latest in a long string of directing credits for Brown, which include many notable theater works in Seattle and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He founded Brownbox Theatre in 2001. After earning his MFA in Arts Leadership in 2010, he participated in a directing fellowship with the Drama League in New York.