Hickory – Ray Christian-Dickens, of Boone, has been cast in the lead role of Celie for the Hickory Community Theatre’s upcoming production of THE COLOR PURPLE – THE MUSICAL. This show is a powerful and emotional adaptation of Alice Walker’s original novel, with a book by Marsha Norman, and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Steven Bray. Performances begin January 21 and continue through February 5. Tickets are on sale now, online at hickorytheatre.org/box-office or by phoning 828-328-2283.
THE COLOR PURPLE is Dickens’s second time on the Hickory stage. She was last seen as Lorrell in DREAMGIRLS back in 2018. Previous stage roles with other theatres include The Gingerbread Man in SHREK THE MUSICAL and a Mersister in THE LITTLE MERMAID. She is also an accomplished dancer, having done ballet, jazz, and modern dance for 16 years and assistant-coached competition dance for four years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Cross Media Studies.
When asked about what drew her to this role, Dickens replied, “I relate to her struggles with her worth and purpose on Earth and have myself struggled wondering why I was made the way I am in such a hateful, hostile world. I find her material and spiritual triumph inspiring and aspirational. Loving Celie helps me love myself. Playing this role is an incredible honor. HCT shows are always outstanding with incredible talent, professionalism, and passion. They’ve helped me grow so much as a performer and a person.”
Performances of THE COLOR PURPLE will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, January 21 through February 5 at 7:30 pm; Sunday, January 30 at 2:30 pm and Thursday, February 3 at 7:30 pm. Opening night, January 21 features reduced-price tickets: $12 for adults and $10 for youth & students. Tickets for all other performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students.
Tickets are available online at hickorytheatre.org, or by phone at 828-328-2283. Weekday box office hours are 12-5, Wednesday through Friday, or one half-hour before any performance.
Due to the continued rate of Covid-19 cases in Catawba County, and in accordance with the latest guidance from the CDC, the Hickory Community strongly recommends that patrons wear a mask or other face covering while inside the building.
The Hickory Community’s 73rd season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress. THE COLOR PURPLE is produced by the United Arts Council of Catawba County, in association with Shurtape Technologies, LLC. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.
PHOTO (L-R): Ray Christian-Dickens is Celie in THE COLOR PURPLE. Photo by LaKeisha Ross-Johnson.