Dancing On The Air: The Teenarama Story is a theatrical musical which tells the real story of the Teenarama Dance Party teen television dance show created for Black teenagers in Washington, DC on the former WOOK-TV from 1963-1970. Black teens were forbidden to dance on the white teen dance show, The Milt Grant Show on WTTG Ch. 5 in the 1960s. Teenarama provided an outlet for Black teens to show off their dance skills, see their favorite singing groups perform, make friends, and a model for social development. Teenarama was the jewel of the Black community.
Dancing on the Air: The Teenarama Story continues the story of the Teenarama Dance Party as it profiles and showcases some of the popular teens on the show called "The Regulars". The musical has been in development since 2016 and was a hit at the 2018 Kennedy Center's "Page to Stage" new play script reading festival.
In 2020 The play received a grant award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities East of the River Grant to stage the play at THEARC in Ward 8 in Sept. 2022. However, COVID closed theaters and production ceased. In rethinking it was decided to film the play and stream it over the internet.
We are able to now able to hold in-person rehearsals and virtual rehearsals on ZOOM. With all of the downfalls in our attempt to produce this historical masterpiece due to COVID-19, we are now happy to begin production with some of the most talented teenagers in DC as the cast.
It is very important that this play comes to fruition as it tells a real story of an historical time in the District of Columbia. Community, racial segregation, social development, social dance and African American culture is what this musical provides for those who grew up watching the Teenarama Dance Party on television and for those who danced and appeared on the show. It is important for new residents of all ethnicities to learn of Washington, DC through this musical.
Funded by Washington, DC (July 2021)