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Black Theatre Network to Honor Dominique Morisseau, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and More at Annual Conference

Other honorees include Ron Simons, Chanté Adams, and Angela Birchett.

The Black Theatre Network's annual conference will feature an extraordinary schedule and honor Detroit luminaries Dominique Morisseau, Ron Simons, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Chanté Adams, and Angela Birchett, who have found success on Broadway and beyond.

The Black Theatre Network, the nation's premier organization dedicated to the exploration and preservation of the theatrical visions of the African Diaspora, announced "SCRIPTING THE FLIP: Black Theatre ACT III," the theme of its 36th annual conference.

Scheduled July 24 through July 27, 2022, in Detroit, MI, the in-person gathering of artists, scholars, educators, students, and theatre lovers will feature an eclectic mix of panels, conversations, and performances.

Additionally, the conference will present its yearly StudentQuest monologue competition, along with student awards for scholarship and design entries and competitions, and help plan the return of the International Detroit Theatre Olympiad (IDTO) IDTO is a global competition that once brought theatre companies from around the world to the Motor City to display artistic excellence and share the life-affirming messages of the theatre.

"The Black Theatre Network is thrilled to provide a space for Black creatives, scholars, and cultural organizations to gather from across the United States," BTN President and Conference Planner K. Zaheerah Sultan said. "We designed SCRIPTING THE FLIP: Black Theatre ACT III to provide its attendees with transformative resources. Our mission is to focus on building viable and thriving theatre communities. BTN is an advocate for Black people creating our narratives of Black theatre in the 21st century and beyond."

BTN's 36th annual conference is a call to action,- looking for best practices as we move towards the next normal by answering such questions as What will we carry forward from the enormous changes of the last two years? How will we celebrate and uplift the legacy for the next generation? What challenges shall we anticipate and prepare to meet?

BTN conference marquee events will include The Detroit Honors, a public event saluting Detroiters Chanté Adams (Skeleton Crew) and Angela Birchett (The Color Purple) who have become Broadway stars under the mentorship of Marilyn McCormick. McCormick, the recipient of the 2016 Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education, found her career influencing and inspiring the students that made their way through the Performing Arts Department of Cass Technical High School.

A performance of the world premiere musical Hastings Street produced by Plowshares Theatre Company, a renowned Detroit Black theatre. Hastings Street is set on the cusp of change in Detroit. With a book and score written by Detroit artists John Sloan III and Kris Johnson, Hastings Street explores the lives of Detroiters at a moment when the city was rewriting the lives and landscape of thousands of African Americans in the name of progress.

BTN Awards Luncheon will honor Four-time Tony Award-winning producer and Detroit native Ron Simons of SimonSays Entertainment with its Pathfinder Award. Additionally, Wayne State University will give The Apple Award underwritten by the Nederlander Foundation to Tony Awardwinner Ruben Santiago-Hudson and acclaimed playwright and two-time Tony nominee Dominique Morisseau. Rochelle Riley, Director of the Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) will give the luncheon's keynote address.

TRANSFORMATION! is an exhibit that tells the story of New York's historic African Grove Theatre, the first black-owned theatre in America. The exhibit will be on display in Detroit from July 22-September 17, 2022. Detroit native and past BTN President Michael Dinwiddie, is co-curator of TRANSFORMATION! 100 Years of African American Theatre (1821-1921) From The African Grove Theatre to Shuffle Along. He is also an Associate Professor of Dramatic Writing at New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

For more information and updates about the Black Theatre Network's 36th Annual Conference, "SCRIPTING THE FLIIP: Black Theatre ACT III," as well as other BTN programs and services, visit www.blacktheatrenetwork.org.



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