Published on: Tuesday, January 23, 2024 Arts & Humanities

"Soul of Langston" Play Explores Life and Legacy of Langston Hughes on Feb. 23


Free Takoma Park Arts Performance 

Friday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 pm 

Takoma Park Community Center 

7500 Maple Avenue 

In a one-man play written and performed by Daron P. Stewart, Soul of Langston reveals the bittersweet wit and wisdom of Langston Hughes’ poetry, the triumphs and tragedies that shaped his life, and the worldwide impact of his literary career.

In celebration of Black History Month, a free performance will be held at 7:30 pm on Friday, Feb. 23 in the Takoma Park Community Center auditorium at 7500 Maple Avenue. No tickets or reservations are required, and donations will be accepted. Some parking is available in the Takoma Park police station parking lot, the adjacent Piney Branch Elementary School lot, or on nearby streets.

Wearing a wide-lapeled suit while standing next to a desk with a vintage typewriter, Stewart personifies Hughes and the astounding arc of his life to become “Harlem’s Wonder” who helped establish the Civil Rights movement through the Harlem Renaissance.

Fused with jazz and blues, the play explores Hughes’ prodigious work as a poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright. Hughes worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. in the 1920s before achieving fame as a poet, inspiring the name of the local Busboys and Poets restaurants.

Stewart has performed across the United States and abroad, including festivals, schools, colleges, churches, and conferences. He also conducts an artist residency program and is the founder of the independent production company Norad Media. You can learn more about him and see a scene from the play at

Born in 1901 in Joplin, Missouri, Hughes sketched an unvarnished view of the struggles of Black working-class people living in a racist America but also their resounding strength and deep sense of community. In his famed essay The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, he wrote that “no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself.”

This event is part of the City of Takoma Park’s Takoma Park Arts series, including film screenings, art exhibitions, theater, film screenings, concerts, and poetry readings. All events are free, and no tickets or reservations are required. You can sign up for our e-newsletter for more info about all of our upcoming events.