NC Black Rep To Debut New 'Shakespeare At Sunset' Program At The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival
The North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep) is excited to announce new programming at the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) titled Shakespeare at Sunset. In collaboration with The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), NC Black Rep will produce Twelfth Night, or What You Will at the Winston Square Park Amphitheatre in downtown Winston-Salem.
Twelfth Night will be directed by stage and TV veteran Ted Lange, best known for his iconic role as Isaac on the long-running ABC series The Love Boat. Lange, a long-time festival supporter, is excited to bring Shakespeare to NBTF attendees, commenting: "The universal appeal of Shakespeare is undisputed, while the appeal of Twelfth Night, or What You Will lends itself to the Black experience. With this production we envision the Island of Illyria as Jamaica, tossing out the Shakespearian songs and replacing them with Bob Marley classics. I think festival goers will have a wonderful experience seeing the play through the lens of being black on an island in the Caribbean. I would call this play, 'Twelfth Night, or What You Will Mon.'"
The Arts Council of Winston Salem and Forsyth County's President and CEO Randy Eaddy loved the idea of outdoor Shakespeare in Winston-Salem and immediately agreed to have the Arts Council serve as a co-producer of Shakespeare at Sunset. Mr. Eaddy stated: "I love all theater, but Shakespeare is timeless and remains my greatest passion. And so, I was excited when Jackie Alexander described the NC Black Rep proposal to do Shakespeare at Sunset in Winston Square Park, which is literally our side-yard. I was thrilled when the City, which owns the Park, agreed. I expect this intriguing production of Twelfth Night will be a smashing success, and I hope it will serve as a catalyst for ongoing exciting activity in Winston Square Park, bringing additional vibrancy to downtown."
UNSCA will provide housing and design support for NC Black Rep's production of Twelfth Night. UNCSA Dean of Drama Scott Zigler shared: "The UNCSA School of Drama is thrilled to support the National Black Theater Festival. This is one of the most important theater gatherings in the US, and it is a tremendous benefit to our students that it happens right here in Winston-Salem."
Performances of Twelfth Night will take place Thursday August 1 - Saturday August 3, 2019, from 5:30-7:30pm, perfectly timed between NBTF matinee and evening shows. This event will be free-of-charge to festival-goers and Winston-Salem/Triad residents alike.
The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival will be held July 29-August 3, 2019. For more information, please visit: www.ncblackrep.org.