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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It might not be the oldest local theatre, but Hattiloo has already established itself among the top. The establishment will soon be celebrating its 13th season and WREG’s Markova Reed sat down with Ekundayo Bandele to get a sneak peek of all the exciting things planned for this year.

The first production to hit the stage will be “Mahalia”. This popular musical will feature gospel great Deborah Manning Thomas.

The performance will not only uplift and entertain it will also benefit the community.

“Part of the proceeds are going to go to a program called Manna Outreach which brings in food for the Food Bank, MIFA and families,” said Bandele.

Subscribers were excited to hear the theatre’s executive director talking about plays like “Pipeline” that will run in September.”

It’s really about the high school to prison pipeline for black boys and it’s such a timely play.”

And a holiday tradition at Hattiloo will get a timely update.

“We have that other popular play that we always do “If Scrooge Was a Brother” except this time we’re marking out the brother and it’s “If Scrooge Was a Sistah”.

For Black History Month the play “A Song for Coretta” will be presented. It’s a tribute to the lives of Doctor and Mrs. King.

“It’s a play about individuals who are waiting to view Coretta Scott King’s body when she was lying in state. They are just kind of talking about and reliving the moments she and her husband created for so many people our country.”

This season offers four plays and three musicals, but all of them address a community issue, a social ill or offers some perspective on history.

“You come here and a lot of African Americans see their likeness, or even for our white brothers and sisters, they come here and become more aware of issues like we’re going to have in ‘Pipeline.'”

Bandele said making the theatre accessible is important to filling seats Hattiloo.

“Aregular ticket to a musical here is $35. A ticket to a play is $28. However if you get a subscription that ticket goes down to $16.50.”

Bandele said Hattlioo is making it accessible and affordable for everyone to see these relevant performances you simply can’t afford to miss.