NC Black Rep To Host Thirty Companies In Honor Of Thirtieth Anniversary Of The National Black Theatre Festival
The North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep) will showcase productions from thirty theatre companies (twenty-five professional and five universities) at the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) in honor of the festival's thirtieth anniversary. Fourteen states will be represented, as well as one international selection from Cape Town, South Africa. Additionally, NC Black Rep will produce two shows at the festival: George Wolfe's Jelly's Last Jam, the opening night performance, and an outdoor production of Twelfth Night set in Jamaica, directed by stage and TV veteran Ted Lange.
NC Black Rep received submissions for the 2019 NBTF from over one hundred thirty theatre companies across the globe. Selected productions receive the honor of performing on what has become internationally known as "Black Theatre Holy Ground." Playwright Daniel Carlton who has a play being produced at the festival by Blackberry Productions, shared: "It is such an honor and joy to join the cultural quilt that is the Festival. As a playwright being presented, it means that my words now join the legacy of excellence and commitment in this gathering that has served us as a salve presented in song, text and movement in its time here ...a creative blanket covering us all in the warmth of both ancestry and future journeys!"
A noteworthy production at the 2019 NBTF will be the world premiere of Harlem9's 48Hours in...Holy Ground. For the first time in the festival's history, actors in attendance will be given the opportunity to perform on the NBTF mainstage. The production features six playwrights re-imagining six African-American theatre classics that have been previously presented at the NBTF, including: For Colored Girls, Fences, Miss Evers' Boys, The Electronic Negro, The Old Settler, and To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. Over a 48-hour period, the plays will be cast, rehearsed, and produced as an evening of shorts. In a joint statement, Harlem9 producers commented: "Harlem9 is excited to join NBTF in the celebration of Black history, legacy, and culture on Holy Ground with our OBIE award-winning festival 48Hours in . . . . The opportunity to expand beyond NYC with our process and connect across the country has been a long-held dream. We look forward to illuminating the creative magic and resilience found in diverse communities wherever we are invited."
The Midnight Poetry Jam, a festival favorite and mainstay, has been renamed Words and Verses for the 2019 NBTF. The re-vamped program, now hosted by Larry "LB the Poet" Barron, will start at 10:30 p.m. With performances from July 30 through August 2, the event also offers more opportunities for festival goers to take the mic.
Production companies selected for the 2019 NBTF are as follows: Black Ensemble Theater of Chicago, Black Spectrum Theatre Company, Blackberry Productions, Blake Vision Entertainment, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, David Hayes Productions, Ebony Repertory Theatre, Ever Forward Productions, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Kedron Productions, Inc., Langhart Communications Group, Layon Gray American Theatre Company, LEAP Artists LIVE! Diversity Youth Theatre, Li V Mahob Productions, New Federal Theatre, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, RPR Productions, SitMyAssDown Productions, Spirit Sister Productions, St. Louis Black Repertory Company, Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, SUNY Purchase, The Ensemble Theatre of Houston, The Pointe! Studio of Dance, The Rayloc Group, University of Louisville, and The West Coast Black Theatre Troupe.
A complete listing of plays selected for the 2019 NBTF will be announced on Monday June 3, 2019.
The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival will be held July 29-August 3, 2019. For more information, please visit: www.ncblackrep.org.