Black Theatre

The rich tradition and current state of Black Theatre is explored in this content, including discussions analyzing contemporary work and pieces honoring trailblazers. Consider starting with the Daughters of Lorraine podcast, the Journal series on the state of Black theatre, or the Journal series on Black women in the performing arts.

The Latest

#DeafWoke with Raven Sutton
Video
#DeafWoke with Raven Sutton
A virtual consciousness-raising online talk show, led by Black and Native American Deaf host Mr. Antoine Hunter PurpleFireCrow
Tuesday 27 July 2021
United States
Creating a Platform for BIPOC, Deaf, and Hard-of-Hearing Artists
Podcast
Creating a Platform for BIPOC, Deaf, and Hard-of-Hearing Artists
With Michelle Banks of Visionaries of the Creative Arts
by Yura Sapi
21 July 2021
Literature
Video
Literature
Black female literary characters, over the centuries and in present time, are often marginalized. We will discuss how we can reshape and center our stories as women of color
Thursday 29 July 2021
United States
Creating from the Vanguard
Essay

Creating from the Vanguard

State vs. Zimmerman

26 July 2013

Keith Josef Adkins recounts the verdict of Mark Zimmerman's trial, discussing how New Black Fest commissioned playwrights across the country to write ten-minute plays addressing race and privilege.

Creating Culture Warriors
Essay

Creating Culture Warriors

My Internship with Penumbra’s Summer Institute

3 July 2013

Jeff Freeman details his experience of interning with Penumbra Theatre

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Expanding the African American Narrative panel at A Playwrights' Convening at CENTERSTAGE
Video

Expanding the African American Narrative panel at A Playwrights' Convening at CENTERSTAGE

Wednesday 15 May 2013
Baltimore, MD, United States

CENTERSTAGE in Baltimore presented a discussion with playwrights on “Expanding the African American Narrative,”livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 15 May 2013 at 3:45 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 5:45 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 6:45 p.m. EDT (Baltimore) / 22:45 GMT / 11:45 p.m. BST (London). View a conversion into your local time.

The Not-So-Bountiful Trip to Broadway
Essay

The Not-So-Bountiful Trip to Broadway

24 April 2013

Alisa Solomon shares the complex history of A Trip to Bountiful's journey to Broadway.

Five women in period dress.
Indomitable Spirit
Essay

Indomitable Spirit

The Legacy, Vitality, and Sustainability of Black Theatre Today

16 March 2013

Eileen J. Morris discusses the duty The Ensemble Theatre has to the community of Huston.

The Roster
Essay

The Roster

Black theatres in America

16 March 2013

A list of black theatres in the United States, complied by Michael Dinwiddie, Jonathan McCrory, Beth Turner, Lawrence Evans, and the New England Entertainment Digest.

The cast and crew of a play gathered around their set.
Working at It
Essay

Working at It

16 March 2013

Ben Guillory writes about The Robey Theatre Company, and the importance of outreach and bringing audiences to black history.

Logo for the Black Theatre Network.
The Black Theatre Network
Essay

The Black Theatre Network

Past, Present & Future

15 March 2013

Michael Dinwiddie discusses the role of the Black Theatre Network in the community.

A poem by Barbara Ann Teer.
The Way Back Home
Essay

The Way Back Home

15 March 2013

Sade Lythcott writes about her mother's legacy as founder of the National Black Theater (NBT), and the importance of maintaining the history and lineage of black theater.

What Shall We Tell Our Young Playwrights Who Are Black?
Essay

What Shall We Tell Our Young Playwrights Who Are Black?

14 March 2013

A meditation on the importance of uplifting young black playwrights. 

Several people pose for a picture.
Interview with Ron Simons
Essay

Interview with Ron Simons

13 March 2013

A group of independent producers meet with Broadway producer Ron Simons. Simons discusses the need to invest in black theatre on Broadway.

An man plays the piano in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Keeping the Flame
Essay

Keeping the Flame

12 March 2013

Sarah Bellamy reflects on Penumbra Theatre Company's financial situation, and provides a roadmap of their goals, challenges, and approach to fundraising.

Two people reading scripts.
Who We Are
Essay

Who We Are

Black Theatre in the Bay Area

12 March 2013

Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe discusses the climate of black theatre in San Francisco.

A still from Fathers And Sons.
Emerging from the Crucible
Essay

Emerging from the Crucible

11 March 2013

Valerie Curtis-Newton writes about her experience at The Hansberry project, and the neccessity of producing black artists.

Several people pose for a picture.
The Tradition of Defining a Tradition
Essay

The Tradition of Defining a Tradition

11 March 2013

For the State of Black Theatre Series, Talvin Wilks looks at the history of black theatre telling its own story.

The Twitter logo.
Weekly Howl on Thursday, March 14
Essay

Weekly Howl on Thursday, March 14

How do you see black theater in the 21st Century?

10 March 2013

This week's Howl centers around the state of black theater in the United States

A logo that reads "Model The Movement" with an image of a tree behind it.
Breaking Through the Bottleneck
Essay

Breaking Through the Bottleneck

Theatre Makers in the Black Community Congregate to Change Dynamics in Boston

25 July 2012

Akiba Abaka discusses her experience at the Model the Movement conference in Boston.

“Pigmeat” and Company
Essay

“Pigmeat” and Company

A Legacy of Black Performance in Durham, NC

20 July 2012

Kashif Jerome Powell on the legacy of Dewy “Pigmeat” Markham on the Black Performance work in the  Durham, North Carolina theater scene, its influcence on the work of local theatermaker Mike Wiely, and the continuation of  said conversation in the current Black performace scene in Durham. 

A contemporary building.
Blessed Doors, Opened
Essay

Blessed Doors, Opened

a Theater Life in Pittsburgh

6 June 2012

Pittsburgh is where Tameka Cage-Conley, a nonfiction writer and poet, to become a playwright. She is pursuing the stories of her location to raise questions about the American landscape.

Friday Phone Call # 14
Podcast

Friday Phone Call # 14

Kwame Kwei-Armah

16 March 2012

Listen to weekly podcasts hosted by David Dower as he interviews theater artists from around the country to highlight #newplay bright spots. This week: Kwame Kwei-Armah of Center Stage.

Honoring Excellence in Black Theater
Essay

Honoring Excellence in Black Theater

A Night with Woodie King Jr.

27 February 2012

​ Tune in to #NEWPLAY TV on February 27, 2012 from 7:00-8:30pm EST to celebrate Woodie King Jr.'s induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame through Honoring Excellence in Black Theater:  A Night with Woodie King Jr.

Portrait of Timothy Douglas.
The Benefits of Slavery
Essay

The Benefits of Slavery

30 January 2012

Timothy Douglas writes about his resignation from Chicago’s Remy Bumppo Theatre Company.

Discussion of Word Becomes Flesh, by Marc Bamuthi Joseph at 651 ARTS
Video

Discussion of Word Becomes Flesh, by Marc Bamuthi Joseph at 651 ARTS

Sunday 8 January 2012
Brooklyn, NY, United States

651 ARTS presented a pre-show chat for Marc Bamuthi Joseph's Word Becomes Flesh livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 8 January 2012 at 12 p.m. PST (San Francisco) / 3 p.m. EST (New York) / 8 p.m. GMT (London).

A logo that reads "the new black fest"
The New Black Fest
Essay

The New Black Fest

13 April 2011

Keith Josef Adkins speaks on his experience working to "diversify within our diversity" and provide fresh black narratives to the canon of American theatre.

Interview with Karen Evans
Essay

Interview with Karen Evans

6 February 2011

In this installment of the series From Scarcity to Abundance: Capturing the Moment for the New Work Sector, Anthony Werner interviews Karen L.B. Evans of the Black Women Playwrights' Group on the future and the intersection of technology and live theatre.