to the 2015 Black Theatre Festival; a 10 day festival celebrating extraordinary stories told by people of African descent. This year’s has an exciting menu of more than 150 provocative and ground breaking theatrical performances, by local and national artists, writers, producers, and theatre companies. DC Black Theatre Festival is also the first theatre festival of its kind to recognize the importance of both urban and traditional theatre.
Join us this year as we celebrate the Family!
Featuring the awarding winning Camden Repertory Theatre and the Unity Community African Dance Ensemble, under the leadership of Desi Seck and Jamal Dickerson. For the past 5 years this Company has brought both unique and outstanding work to the festival. Never have we seen such a professional group of young people dedicated to telling their story.
Camden Repertory Theater & Unity Community African Dance Ensemble is dedicated to providing opportunities for urban communities to discover the power of performing arts through theater arts training and performance. Join us for a new telling of an old story with a new twist; Rapunzel, Rapunzel Let Down Your Locks: A New Musical Libretto by Desi P. Seck, Music & Lyrics by JP Dickerson, Choreography by Lamar R Baylor, Costume Design by Marci Rodgers.
The 2015 DC Black Theatre Festival opens with the One Pearl and a Sphinx production of Letters From Zora: In Her Own Words, a one-woman show delving into noted author Zora Neale Hurston’s controversial views on segregation, integration and social justice. Written by novelist Gabrielle Denise Pina with an original score by Ron McCurdy, this daring piece showcases a life filled with artistic triumphs as well as abject poverty and self-doubt. Directed by Anita Dashiell-Sparks, Hurston’s personal letters create an authentic multi-sensory dramatization brought to life by veteran actress Vanessa Bell Calloway in a production that will illuminate Hurston’s words, life and distinct view of the jazz-age era.
“Letters from Zora is an untold story about unbridled creativity who succeeded in a very difficult time in history."
"Vanessa’s gripping, humorous and insightful performance – that’s a winning combination!”
DC Black Theatre Festival will also offer a wide array of Visual Presentations, Celebrity Workshops, Monologue Competition and the ever famous One-Act Battle; a nightly one-act competition that concludes at the end of the week with the winners of each night battling for the titled “Best of the Best.”
Washington DC is home to one of the largest deaf and hard of hearing populations in all of the United States. Within that community are a myriad of incredibly talented performing artists and writers. This year, the DCBTF has the honor of collaborating with some of these artists to bring to our stages a series of unique productions that give our, until now, 100% hearing audiences, an inside look into deaf culture. We are seeking to bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing communities through the the Arts. Featuring the work of Award-winning artists Michelle A. Banks & Fred Michael Beam.
Each year the DC Black Theatre Festival picks handful of playwrights to feature. This year is no exception, out of the 350 playwright who applied for this year's festival only 50 playwrights were selected. We honor and salute the artists and creative individuals who inspire our community; Garrett Davis, C.A. Bejan, Alan Sharpe, Sherryle Kiser Jackson, Jade Wheeler, Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum, J. Shawn Durham & Jamal Dickerson.
After the last performance, don’t miss the nightly After Party, featuring live music and entertainment, and lively discussions with audience members and performers. You do not want to miss this chance of being among the first to say, “I was there when the DC Black Theatre Festival changed the way theatre was done!”
Photos by Lisa Kinnard