This new collection of plays and monologues celebrates the stories, characters, and images that define the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF). Featuring Dr. Maya Angelou’s 1989 NBTF Manifesto, seventeen monologues/scenes, archival photos, and three new plays that eschew cookie-cutter representations of African American life in favor of complex storytelling that examines universal themes, this anthology shines a light on qualities that have sustained Black theatre: family, love, humor, intellect, resilience, and strength.

Full-length Plays:

Maid’s Door by Cheryl L. Davis
Berta, Berta by Angelica Cheri
Looking for Leroy by Larry Muhammad


From The Mississippi Delta-Endesha Ida Mae Holland (1989), Big Butt Girls, Hard-Headed Women-Idris Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones (1991), Olivia’s Opus-Nora Cole (1993), Shango De Ima: A Yoruba Mystery Play-Pepe Carril (1995), Chain-Pearl Cleage (1997), Monsieur Baptiste, The Con Man-Roger Furman (1999), Rhyme Deferred: Hieroglyphic Graffiti-Kamilah Forbes (2001), Hillary and Monica: The Winter of Her Discontent-Yvette Heyliger (2003), Plenty of Time-Dr. John Shevin Foster (2005), Washington’s Boy-Ted Lange (2007), Ascension-Cynthia Grace Robinson (2009), The Legend of Buster Neal-Jackie Alexander (2011), The Ballad of Emmett Till-Ifa Bayeza (2013), How I Feel-Dennis A. Allen II (2015), Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell their Tales-Dr. E. Patrick Johnson (2015), Breathe-Javon Johnson (2017), and Anne and Emmett-Janet Langhart Cohen (2019)

The publication of Holy Ground: The National Black Theatre Festival Anthology, is made possible with support by:

Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts logo
UNC School of the Arts logo

Published by:

Theatre Communications Group logo