Off-Broadway production of Maya Angelou's 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' allows patrons to 'pay what they can'

Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News on

Published in Entertainment News

NEW YORK — A radical theatrical production of a Maya Angelou literary classic is opening to New York City audiences this weekend — and the ticketing system is equally unique.

The premiere of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” will be produced by New York City Children’s Theater and begin performances Friday at Theatre Row on 42nd Street.

The organization announced that all tickets to the production will be pay what you can, as part of its commitment to make theater more accessible throughout the city.

The Children’s Theater company for years has provided low and no-cost tickets to lower income families, the company’s executive director, Andrew Frank, told the Daily News Wednesday.

“We engage young imaginations, and imagination doesn’t have a price point,” Frank told The News about the pricing structure.

Adapted by playwright Idris Goodwin and directed by Khalia Davis, the one-woman production — starring Cherrye J. Davis — uses the words and themes from Angelou’s 1969 groundbreaking memoir.


The first in a seven-volume autobiographical series by the poet and writer, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” chronicles her traumatic childhood and personal struggles.

“Maya Angelou was a master wizard poet and storyteller [and] this was no ordinary writing assignment,” Goodwin said. “Her words remain as relevant as ever and helping to provide a space and context for young people to behold the beauty and contemplate the brutality she renders in language is an honor.”

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is scheduled to play through June 5.


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