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Duke Ellington School Celebrates Co-Founder

Mike Malone Remembered as Students, Staff Perform 'Black Nativity'

Stacy M. Brown | 11/20/2013, 3 p.m.
The late Mike Malone’s adaptation of the celebrated gospel play “Black Nativity” opens at the Ellington Theatre on Wednesday, Dec. ...
The late Mike Malone

Malone, a recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for choreography, also appeared on the 1980s television series, “Fame,” and the Broadway production of, “The Great White Hope.” In 1996, he choreographed the Olympic Soccer Opening Ceremonies, which took place at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Southeast.

That same year, he received nominations for direction and choreography for the production of “Black Nativity,” which debuted in 1995 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Northwest.

“I’ve been doing this work for more than 40 years and I’ve been mentored by Mike Malone,” said Smith, who earned an O’Keefer Award for Best Female Dancer in a Musical Production and who has been honored by the International Association of Blacks in Dance, where she also serves as a board member.

“The most joy is seeing the students’ passion for their art, which is what Mike Malone loved,” Smith said. “I’m just giving back to my community, my family, and my school, and continuing his legacy.”

The Ellington Theatre is located at 3500 R Street in Northwest. Performances of “Black Nativity” are scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4; Thursday, Dec. 5; Friday, Dec. 6; Saturday, Dec. 7; Thursday, Dec. 12; Friday, Dec. 13; and Saturday, Dec. 14. Performances also are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7; Sunday, Dec. 8; and Sunday, Dec. 15; and at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11 and Thursday, Dec. 12. For tickets, visit www.ellingtonschool.org. School matinee and group sales information can be obtained by contacting Adia Howard-Stroud at adiahs@ellingtonarts.org.