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The World Premiere of Born For This: The Bebe Winans Story!


Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story, the hilarious and heartwarming true story of six-time Grammy Award-winning icon BeBe Winans’s journey to fame. Born for This, directed by celebrated director and playwright Charles Randolph-Wright (Motown The Musical), will premiere on the Alliance Stage, April 13 – May 15, 2016. The new musical is populated with original music as well as Winans family hits, with book by RandolphWright and Winans. Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story is a co-production with Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., where the production will run from July 1 – August 28, 2016.

In Born for This, Detroit natives BeBe and CeCe Winans, youngest siblings of the Winans family dynasty, experience the ultimate in culture shocks when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise The Lord Network. The Winans teenagers become not only television celebrities, they also become like adopted children of the Bakkers, integrating TV evangelism. As BeBe and CeCe encounter fame, fortune, and even a young Whitney Houston, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with his true calling.

Universal themes run through this personal story. “When you’re a teenager you don’t think your life is being recorded for others to learn from, or be healed by, or better yet to find strength through your fears and failures,” shared BeBe Winans. “Now I know that these were God’s plans for my life. We’re all born for a purpose. This musical celebrates the journey of finding it.”

“BeBe Winans writes incredible music and has an equally incredible story to accompany that music,” comments Randolph-Wright. “When he and his sister left Detroit for Carolina as teenagers, the ultimate coming of age happened and unlikely friendships developed. People who seemingly had nothing in common found a way first to sing together, then become family. Those unique partnerships changed and moved people—something we need right now. I am proud to be a part of this journey, and am thrilled to bring this extraordinary company of actors and tremendous design team to the audiences in Atlanta and D.C.”

As previously announced, leading the cast as BeBe and CeCe Winans are Winans family members and accomplished performers Juan Winans and Deborah Joy Winans. Juan Winans is a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, and his sister Deborah Joy Winans is currently filming “Greenleaf,” the OWN original TV series for which BeBe is an Executive Music Producer. Featured in the cast are Chaz Pofahl (Regional: Coraline) as Jim Bakker and Kirsten Wyatt (Broadway’s A Christmas Story: The Musical) as Tammy Faye Bakker, as well as Kiandra Richardson as Whitney Houston, Nita Whitaker (Pasadena Playhouse’s Breaking Through) as Mom Winans, Milton Craig Nealy (Broadway’s Motown The Musical) as Pop Winans, Dyllon Burnside (Broadway’s Holler If Ya Hear Me) as Michael Winans and Howard, Desmond Sean Ellington as Carvin Winans and Alvin, Brad Raymond (Alliance’s A Christmas Carol) as Ronald Winans, and Michael Stiggers (Actor’s Express’s Rent) as Marvin Winans. Also in the cast are Kurt Boehm as Jimmy Ray, Gracie Jones, Nick Morrett as Bob, and Alison Whitehurst as Penny.

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The creative team for Born for This includes Choreographer Warren Adams, Music Supervisor Donald Lawrence, Music Director Steven Jamail, Set Designer Neil Patel, Tony Award-winning Costume Designer William Ivey Long, Lighting Designer Diane Ferry Williams, Sound Designer Jesse Stevens, Projection Designer John Narun, Copyist Britt Bonney, Stage Manager Bret Torbeck, and Assistant Stage Manager Jayson T. Waddell.

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