It's hard to think of Phoenix institutions and entities that have been around for 40 years. Off the top of our heads, we could only come up with the Phoenix Suns, who started hooping in '68. That makes the Black Theatre Troupes 40th year of continuous operation that much more notable.
BTT continues its landmark season with A Lesson Before Dying. Based on Edgar J. Gaines Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel of the same name, the play centers on Jefferson, a young African-American wrongly sentenced to death in 1940s Louisiana. The production, adapted to the stage by celebrated playwright Romulus Linney, revolves around Jefferson's growth in facing the inevitable and the value of dignity.