Ms. Story's Living History

Written by Shemika Renée
Directed by Rikki Howie Lacewell

Welcome to Ms. Story’s Living History, a most unusual bookstore.

Once you enter, you will hear from our proprietor, Ms. Story herself. She will take you on a journey through history, letting you meet a variety of BIPOC women. Some of them you will recognize, some of them may be new to you. All of them will come to life in front of you to tell their stories.

Each weekend of performances is a different chapter, and in each chapter, you will meet a different combination of women, ranging from an enslaved woman brought to America from Africa to a playwright whose work is still being done today.

 You may meet an entrepreneur or a pilot… an athlete or a soldier… an abolitionist or a seamstress… a politician or a gospel singer… an enslaved woman who tasted freedom in France or a mail carrier… an engineer of the Underground Railroad or a Union Spy. Every one of these women made a mark on our country, and changed the course of history.

And each of them may inspire you to do the same.

February 16- Mar 3, 2024

Content warning: “This show is about BIPOC women in American history. The subjects of enslavement and civil rights will be addressed in a compassionate manner suitable for all ages.”

Fiveplay Auditions:

Seeking 6 performers for the Maryland premiere of Fiveplay by local playwright Erica Smith. This is a nonprofit unpaid production. Auditions will be held March 5 and 6 from 7:00-9:00pm with callbacks March 13 from 7:00-9:00pm at Greenbelt Arts Center. The show will perform on weekends from May 31st-June 15. Please visit our auditions page for more information.


4 weekends opening Apr. 12 and closing May 4, 2024.

Music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and book by Terrence McNally, based on the film by the same name.

Directed by Julia Arbutus

produced by Greenbelt Arts Center, musical direction by Johanna Alonso.

A note from the director

“This musical is really about a man finding himself and his place in the world far later in life than maybe he had planned to. I really want this production to be a celebration of that journey to self-acceptance and self-actualization — no matter what time of our lives we’re at, we deserve to feel like we belong.”


Congratulations to our 2023 WATCH Award Nominees:

    • Outstanding Direction of a Play – Rikki Howie Lacewell – The Mountaintop
    • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play – Ryan Willis as “Martin” – The Mountaintop
    • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play – Lydia West as “Carmae” – The Mountaintop
    • Outstanding Sound Design in a Play – Jim Adams – The Mountaintop

The Awards presentation will be held at 7:00 PM on Sunday, March 17, 2024, at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.  Best of luck to our Nominees!

Volunteer Opportunities!

Volunteer Crowd Managers Needed:

Greenbelt Arts Center (GAC) needs volunteer crowd managers. A crowd manager (CM) is an usher trained in crowd management through the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office (MSFMO). The CM welcomes patrons, manages any issues in the lobby prior to showtime, seats people with special needs and latecomers, and greets patrons at the theater door and checks their tickets. They then stay until the audience leaves. Throughout their 2-3 hour shift, they are responsible for making sure egress is not blocked, escorting people to safety in an emergency, and basic monitoring of the crowd. For the most part, they can watch the performance while keeping an eye out in the periphery for emergencies.

Good candidates should be good with managing diverse people, are at least 18 years old, and available for 2-3 performances a month. A typical show is 9 performances over 3 weekends. Both initial and ongoing training is provided. A background check is required by the City of Greenbelt because the volunteers work with children.

Please fill out the Contact Form found here, and our Box Office Manager will reach out to you.


As the Greenbelt Arts Center has resumed in-person programming and local mask mandates have been dropped, we are now allowing patrons to be unmasked in the facility. Exceptions to this rule include our masked Sunday matinees (determined by each production) and any conditions set by those using the space for private rehearsals or events.

Click here to read our full current COVID-19 Policy.