Black Arts MKE: A New Black Girl Fairytale comes to Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (March 14, 2023) – Black Arts MKE and Bronzeville Arts Ensemble proudly present Zuri’s Crown, a new musical celebrating Black women, their hair, and the power of self-expression and love. Directed by Milwaukee theater legend Sheri Williams Pannell, Zuri’s Crown is an original musical adaptation of the Rapunzel fairytale, where Black hair plays a significant role. The musical follows the story of Zuri, played by Camara Stampley, a young woman coming into her own as she embraces her self-worth and stands up against the forces that seek to diminish it. Through her journey, all theatergoers will be inspired to love and celebrate themselves just as they are.

Zuri’s Crown will take place at Marcus Center’s Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall from April 27-29, 2023, as part of World Premiere Wisconsin, a statewide festival celebrating new plays and musicals. The play was written by Cynthia Cobb, Parrish Collier, and Sheri Williams Pannell, and features an all-Black, Milwaukee-based cast. Tickets are on sale now at

“We wrote the musical that we always wanted to see. This is an uplifting and joyous Black girl magic fairytale with a little Milwaukee flavor,” said Sheri Williams Pannell. “We’ve created a fun, magical world; folks are going to be singing and dancing along to the songs, but at its core is a vital message for our entire community. We hope it helps people on their self-love journey.”

Since joining Black Arts MKE as its resident theater group in 2017, Bronzeville Arts Ensemble (BAE) has produced an annual Spring production (excluding pandemic years) for the Black Arts MKE programming season. Black Arts MKE saw World Premiere Wisconsin as a perfect opportunity to include a new original work from BAE. 

“We are so proud to support a theater icon like Sheri,” said Barbara Wanzo, Executive Director, Black Arts MKE. “That’s why we’re thrilled to shine an even bigger spotlight on her and this new musical by working with the World Premiere Wisconsin festival. This is an opportunity to ensure that frequently marginalized voices and stories are heard by a statewide audience.”


●      Camara Stampley as Zuri

●      Brian Crawford as Ukweli

●      Jomoni Haynes as Louvain Regal

●      Antoine Reynolds as Dewey Regal

●      Erica Cherie as Larue Jardenaire

●      Ciara Hart as Bergamot

●      DeCosta Martin as Sulfur8

●      Monique Alimina as Ultrasheen

Zuri’s Crown is directed by Sheri Williams Pannell, scenic design by Amaya Rockett; costume design by Amy Horst, music direction by Antoine Reynolds, Sr., choreography by Cedric Gardner, Aminah Rockett will serve as production stage manager, lighting design by Maaz Ahmed, and Ron Scot Fry will serve as Technical Director.


April 27-29, 2023


Community Night Preview April 27 $25.50 adults | $10 18 & Under

Two free student matinees will be offered on April 27 & 28

For student matinee information contact Ashley Jordan, Director of Arts & Cultural Programming at


Marcus Center’s Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall

121 E State St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Call 414-273-7206

Groups of 10 or more should contact Group Sales at 414-273-7121, x210