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May 28, 2024

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KPT to Present ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’ 

Kennie Playhouse Theatre honors the life of Ethel Waters with this show, Sept. 14 - Oct. 1.

In the spirit of shattering glass ceilings comes a hope-filled musical production celebrating the life and legacy of Ethel Waters. His Eye is on the Sparrow (The Ethel Waters story) runs September 14 – October 1, 2023 through the Kennie Playhouse Theatre (KPT), the only professional  black theater company producing mainstream plays in Nashville. Performances will take place at Z. Alexander Looby Theater, located at 2301 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. in Nashville.

This is the first of two installments of the Forgotten Heroes Series, to be produced by KPT during its 2023-2024 season.

About His Eye is on the Sparrow

Written by Larry Parr, the story takes place during the time when Vaudeville, Broadway and Hollywood were thriving. This two-person musical production follows the life of Ethel Waters and celebrates her ability to rise from the ashes.

Nashville actors Connye Florance and Saaneah Jamison will take audiences through the hurtles of self-doubt and deprivation to the rise of a star in the timeless sky.

Kenny Dozier, founder of KPT, who is also directing the play, said he chose to honor Ethel Waters because she is not given enough credit for being one of the first black women to shatter the glass ceiling and perform in Vaudeville, on Broadway stages and in Hollywood films. From being born in an alley to a 12 year old mother as a result of rape, navigating her mother’s mental illness while being raised by her grandmother seemed insurmountable. Though somehow, she found the strength to allow her talent to catapult her into a successful career in show business. 

She is proof that, “It’s not how you start that matters it’s how you finish,” Dozier said. 

For performance times and tickets, visit


About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.