A Play’s Journey: The Beginnings of the Ethel Waters Story

By Michael Nichols The seeds for Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow were planted in playwright Larry Parr’s heart at a young age. In high school, he discovered Ethel Waters’ autobiography, His Eye is on the Sparrow, which he found to be very impactful. Little did Parr know at the time that, as a playwright, he would go on to create not just … Continue reading A Play’s Journey: The Beginnings of the Ethel Waters Story

Am I Blue? The Ethel Waters Story

By Michael Nichols and Becca Jennings Blues music bubbled up from the American South in the 1870s, carrying the voices of former slaves and freed men to the swanky nightclubs of the North and Midwest in the early 20th century. Blues’ distinct sound and its emotional weight became the lifeblood of many African American singers and musicians. Actress and singer Ethel Waters was one of … Continue reading Am I Blue? The Ethel Waters Story

Healing Waters: From Poverty to Stardom

By Michael Nichols You could call her journey a “Cinderella story…” That is, maybe, if Cinderella had been born black, to a traumatized mother, raised poor, alone, and hounded by hunger, only to rise to the pinnacle of American stardom. Fourteen years since its World Premiere right here at FST, Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow returns with a powerful musical biography celebrating … Continue reading Healing Waters: From Poverty to Stardom