His Eye is on the Sparrow
After a rough and spirit-breaking childhood, Ethel Waters became a Vaudeville success, a recording sensation and crossed racial barriers to emerge as a Broadway and Hollywood star. But a reputation for being difficult and her own distrust of those who might employ her or love her — partly a response to the horrors of Jim Crow America — caused her to lose everything and become a recluse, until she found new strength as a gospel performer. Through it all, there were the songs – the ones that gave her solace and the ones that made her a legend. This is her remarkable story, filled with the greatest hits of a lifetime, including “Stormy Weather,” "This Joint is Jumpin'" and “Am I Blue?”
Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, including one intermission.
View the cast and creative team bios.
Explore the playbill.
Recommended for ages 14 and up. Contains some mature content and language. Children under 6 are not permitted at any production.
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Reviews of "His Eye is on the Sparrow"
"I loved the whole of McQueen's performance. She's funny and heartbreaking and brassy and dynamic and again, again, so authentic. ... what happens during the play: you feel lifted up. By Ethel Waters' music, her truth, her hilarious barbs, her persistence."
Behind the Scenes: "His Eye is on the Sparrow"
Go behind the scenes with the our Scenic Charge (aka paints!) team and artist Elecia Beebe as they bring to life a giant abstract mural depicting the life and times of Ethel Waters for the set of His Eye on the Sparrow.
"His Eye is on the Sparrow" Cast and Creative Team
Maiesha McQueen returns to The Armory after starring in Ain't Misbehavin' last season.
Ethel Waters & “His Eye is on the Sparrow”
Literary Manager Benjamin Fainstein tells how the gospel song "His Eye is on the Sparrow" became the signature song of jazz, blues and acting legend Ethel Waters.
Resource Guide for Educators: The Creation of a Hymn
The Story Behind "His Eye is on the Sparrow"
Resource Guide for Educators: The World of the Play
The World of Ethel Waters & His Eye is on the Sparrow
Resource Guide for Educators: Cast & Creative Team
Cast and Creative Team for His Eye is on the Sparrow
Resource Guide for Educators: The Music of the Play
The music in His Eye is on the Sparrow
Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).