Breath & Imagination

January 10 – February 9

By Daniel Beaty
Directed by Darko Tresnjak



All photos by T. Charles Erickson

Running time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
with one intermission.
Recommended ages: 12 & up.


Before Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson, there was Roland Hayes—the first world-renowned African-American classical vocalist. Born the son of a slave, Roland discovered his voice as a young boy singing spirituals in church. This play chronicles his amazing journey from a plantation in Georgia, to singing before kings and queens in Europe. Breath & Imagination explores the life of an American pioneer through words, movement, spirituals and classical music.

Artistic Team

Set Designer
David P. Gordon 

Costume Designer
Fabio Toblini

Lighting Designer
York Kennedy 

Sound Designer
Jane Shaw 


Roland Hayes
Jubilant Sykes

Angel Mo’
Kecia Lewis

The Accompanist
Tom Frey

Principal Sponsor
Production Sponsor
Production Sponsors

The Seedlings Foundation

Breath and Imagination is generously supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.
Restaurant Partner

Study Guide




Roland Hayes recordings on iTunes
Roland Hayes recordings on Amazon


Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music
Videos: Roland Hayes Performance Videos on YouTube
Videos: Jubilant Sykes Performances on YouTube
Videos: Kecia Lewis-Evans Performances on YouTube
Videos: Daniel Beaty on YouTube

Social Media

Follow Daniel Beaty on Twitter


Roland Hayes

Jubilant Sykes