At its heart, The Gospel at Colonus is the story of a man who has suffered greatly and lost his home and possessions through no fault of his own; a man who, accompanied by his daughters, is now in search of a place to die in peace. It is the story of a community that opens its arms to him and his family and offers them solace and a final resting place.
Inspired by the joyous faith at the heart of African-American Christianity with Greek myth replacing Bible story, The Gospel at Colonus seamlessly blends the agony of Greek tragedy and the ecstasy of American gospel music. It is a sermon on the ways of fate and particularly on a happy death - sung acted and preached by members of the congregation and choir who assume the characters of the "play" with the ground-shaking thunder of a gospel revival meeting.
The Gospel at Colonus is landmark work of the American musical theatre that has been nominated for, and won, many awards, including an OBIE for Outstanding Musical, finalist for Pulitzer (1995), a Tony, and a Grammy for best-recorded theatrical score. It is an adaptation of Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, performed as an oratorio set in a black church.