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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Krannert Center Events: February 2022: Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower

Event Details

Created by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon
Music and Lyrics by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon

Eric Ting, director

"An unrepentantly political work of theater. Poignant and cautionary, this blues, gospel and funk-inflected work argues that if we want to avoid this future we’ll need diversity, strength and a song or two."—The New York Times

Based on the novels Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler, this fully staged opera 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, published in 1993, set beginning in 2024, and centered around the physical and spiritual journey of African American teenager Lauren Oya Olamina, 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 opera of rare power and beauty that reveals deep insights into gender, race, and the future of human civilization.

Parable Path CU community events will take place in fall 2021 and spring 2022, exploring the themes and story of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower. Activities include a community book read; An AfroFuturism Experience art exhibit featuring works by Stacey Robinson, Shaya Robinson, and Kamau Grantham; and more.

Friday, February 26th-Saturday, February 27th 2022 - 7:30pm CT

Tyron Festival Theater

See the Krannert Center website for more details and to purchase tickets.

Discover at MPAL

... more books about opera and race.

... more music by Black composers.

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Parable of the Sower Preview