INTERNATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL

BLACK THEATRE HOLY GROUND

SAVE THE DATE
JULY 29 – AUGUST 3, 2024
WINSTON-SALEM, NC • THE CITY OF ARTS AND INNOVATION

SEE YOU AT THE 2024 INTERNATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL

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All roads lead to Winston-Salem for the

2024 International Black Theatre Festival

Black Theatre Holy Ground

Join us July 29-August 3, 2024, in the City of Arts and Innovation, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where NC Black Rep takes center stage in the world of arts and entertainment as the proud producers of the International Black Theatre Festival. This historic event illuminates the powerful theatrical spirit and extraordinary talent of performers, designers, directors, producers, and technicians from across the country and abroad. During six life-impacting days, you will experience electrifying performances, riveting films, cutting edge spoken word poetry, engaging youth programming, informative workshops, insightful academic discussions, and a vendor’s market steeped in the African Diaspora. For aspiring theatre professionals seeking to advance their careers and connect with like-minded peers, IBTF offers unparalleled networking opportunities.

Drawing an audience of upwards of 65,000 theatre-lovers and having contributed more than $200 million dollars to the Winston-Salem economy since its inception, IBTF has turned Winston-Salem into a destination for theatre practitioners from across the globe, all of whom see the opportunity to perform on Black Theatre Holy Ground as both an honor and a privilege.

2024 International Black Theatre Festival

Special Events

THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS

The 18th biennial IBTF will offer a wide range of over 120 theatrical performances. A selection of new works, world premieres, and Black classics will be performed by national and international professional Black theatre companies at multiple venues throughout Winston-Salem. Tickets range in price from $10-$60. Nathan Purdee, former soap opera star of The Young & the Restless and One Life to Live will appear in Coconut Cake, winner of the Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin Rolling World Premiere Award. A Woman in Waiting starring legendary South African actress Thembi Mtshali-Jones; Dorian Missick of Shirley and Being Mary Jane guest stars in August Wilson’s King Hedley II; Broadway veteran Chester Gregory in A Motown Celebration with Chester Gregory; Tina Fabrique in How High the Moon: The Music of Ella Fitzgerald. Emmy Award winner and R&B singer Alyson Williams joins Grammy nominee Terry Steele in BETCHA BY GOLLY WOW, there’s NEVER TOO MUCH, a tribute to Phyllis Hyman and Luther Vandross. Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles of “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” performs his one-man show Nephew Tommy’s Life After 50; a festival favorite, Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater, returns with A Taste of Soul, and much more.

DISNEY LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AUDITIONS

Disney Live Entertainment will actively be seeking talent for global performance opportunities during the 2024 International Black Theatre Festival. Through innovative storytelling and a culture of collaboration, Disney Live Entertainment creates, produces, and delivers remarkable and engaging entertainment experiences. From the intimate to the spectacular, their work can be seen at Disney theme parks, resort hotels, cruise ships and other locations the world over. During this singular audition experience, candidates will have the opportunity to be considered for professional performance roles at Walt Disney World®, Disneyland Paris®, Shanghai Disney® ResortDisneyland Resort®, Hong Kong Disneyland®, and Disney Cruise Line®. Performers will be asked to prepare a 1–2-minute monologue or vocal selection of your choice with sheet music. (Benton Convention Center – Lower Level – Piedmont Three, 9am–1pm, Wednesday, July 31 – Friday, August 2). All candidates will be seen by appointment only. Performers may sign-up for auditions beginning July 15, 2024.

FINDING HOLY GROUND

Finding Holy Ground: Performing Visions of Race and Justice in America is a collaboration between NC Black Rep, Wake Forest School of Divinity, and Wake the Arts. Examining the intersection of race, religion, sexism, and justice in America, the project features: the world premiere of two commissioned plays, I Am…a Shepherdess by Eljon Wardally and Heritage by JuCoby Johnson, a voter registration drive (Benton Convention Center – 11:00am – 7:00pm – on July 31) and celebrity staged reading of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, which tells the story of Lynda Blackman Lowery, the youngest participant in the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March (Benton Convention Center – 5:30pm on July 31), panel discussions with scholars, religious leaders, and artists critically exploring how art can impact the communities they serve (Marriott – 11am on August 1 & 2), a screening of gOD-Talk (a/perture cinema – 11am, August 3), a feature length documentary spotlighting the rising phenomenon of religious and spiritual shifts among Black millennials, and a concert by Common Hymnal, a group of artists whose music centers life, justice and underground spirituality, covering a wide range of subject matter in a broad range of styles. 

(Wait Chapel – 5:30pm, August 3)

GARLAND THOMPSON, SR. READERS’ THEATRE OF NEW WORKS

Over 30 original works written by renowned and aspiring playwrights are showcased. Professional actors will read for an audience of entertainment industry professionals, scholars and the general public. The first component, New Plays at High Noon, runs Wednesday-Saturday. The original component of the series, Theatre Conversations at Midnight, will run Tuesday-Friday beginning at 10:30pm. Seating is limited at midnight readings. The Out on Holy Ground component features plays that highlight the LGBTQIA+ experience. The series is coordinated by Garland Lee Thompson, Jr., executive director, Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop. (Marriott Hotel)

IBTF FILM FEST

The Film Fest celebrates independent filmmakers of Color for their enormous contributions to the industry. Featured selections include: A King Like Me, which follows members of the Zulu Club, New Orleans’ 100 year old (and first ever) Black Mardi Gras krewe, as they work to bring Zulu back to the streets for Mardi Gras 2022, and gOD Talk, a feature-length documentary spotlighting the rising phenomenon of religious and spiritual shifts among Black millennials. A seat is waiting for you at a/perture Cinema in downtown Winston-Salem every morning, July 30 – August 3. Complete Film Fest schedule available July 1 at ncblackrep.org. Coordinated by Clarielle Marsh.

IBTF FRINGE

In its continued effort to cultivate the next generation of Black theatre professionals, the Festival highlights collegiate theatre. Productions include Chicken & Biscuits (North Carolina Central University), King Hedley II (University of Southern California), Seven Guitars (North Carolina A&T State University), and Thoughts of a Colored Man (Norfolk State University).

IBTF CULTURAL TOURS

Embark on a captivating journey through Winston-Salem’s rich history and cultural heritage with our diverse array of tours. From the Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin Celebrity Tour, where you’ll indulge in a wine tasting brunch celebrating IBTF founders, to the Heritage Unveiled Trolley Tour led by guest Muralist Leo Rucker, immersing you in vibrant public art and compelling stories. Explore living history at the St. Philips Moravian Church and the Shotgun House Legacy Site during the Vessels of Memory Tour or delve into the narratives of the Great Migration on the Up South Tour. Take an immersive look into inclusive museum design at the Kaleideum’s Behind The Scenes Tour or experience a profound visit to the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro. Each tour promises a unique and enriching experience, uncovering the resilience, triumphs, and legacies of African American communities in Winston-Salem and beyond. To reserve a seat, visit the Triad Cultural Arts website, www.triadculturalarts.org.

INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM

The International Colloquium, conceived by Dr. Olásopé O. Oyèláràn, is a collaborative effort between the IBTF, Winston-Salem State University’s [WSSU] Department of Liberal Studies, Program in Africana Studies, Africa World Now Project, and Black Theatre Network (BTN).The theme for the 2024 Colloquium is “Echoes of FESTAC ’77.” Dr. Abdul Alkalimat will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, July 30th, with a participatory public conversation facilitated by james pope on August 1st. The four-day colloquium is facilitated by international theatre professionals, art and human rights activists, cultural workers, and academicians. This year’s colloquium will be in-person with sessions taking place on Wednesday, July 31 to Friday, August 2. Full schedule is forthcoming. IBTF-IC is coordinated by Dr. Olásopé O. Oyèláràn and Dr. james pope. (The Benton Convention Center)

INTERNATIONAL VENDORS MARKET

The International Black Theatre Festival Vendors Market is a curated global exhibition of original artwork made by hand and through fair-trade partnerships. This Afro-centric shopping experience includes one-of-a-kind paintings, photographs, books, jewelry, fashion, glasswork, woodwork, home decor, bath and body products, and much more. The IBTF Vendors Market is open to the public in the South Main Hall on the Upper Level of the Benton Convention Center from July 31 to August 3. The International Vendors Market is coordinated by Darleny Del Rosario.

HOURS OF OPERATION
Wednesday, July 31 — 2:00pm to 9:00pm
Thursday, August 1 –Saturday, August 3 — 11:00am – 7:00pm & 8:00pm -10:00pm

LARRY LEON HAMLIN SOLO PERFORMANCE SERIES

This specialized series, named after the Festival’s founder, presents historical biographies of known and unknown African Americans. Historical figures spotlighted this year are Muhammad Ali (Float Like a Butterfly), Lena Baker (Who Will Sing for Lena?), Nell Carter (From Birmingham to Broadway), and Bessie Coleman (Two Wings to Heaven: The Bessie Coleman Story).

MIDNIGHT POETRY JAM

Starting at midnight, join us as we bring you special featured poets and celebrity guest appearances. Bring your brightest words and let them shine for the world on Black Theatre Holy Ground. Coordinated and hosted by Larry “LB” Barron. (The Benton Convention Center – Salem Ballroom – Main Level)

NATIONAL YOUTH TALENT SHOWCASE

Youth from across the country take center stage and showcase their extraordinary and diverse talents before a panel of celebrity judges. Coordinated by Dr. Stephanie “Asabi” Howard. (The Benton Convention Center – Salem Ballroom – Main Level)

REIMAGINED VOLUME III: YOUNG THANG – A VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE

Inspired by “The Woman with Two Skins” of Southern Nigeria, the story follows Young Thang, a human girl living within The Community, a place where humans are forbidden; deemed dangerous and ugly. To blend in and survive, Young Thang’s guardians urge her to wear a second skin to transform her appearance. After the pressure to conform pushes Young Thang to the brink, she unknowingly puts her beloved guardians and The Community in peril. Can Young Thang find the courage to reveal her full self and save the very beings that discriminate and suppress her? Written and directed by Melissa Joyner. (Admission is free. The Benton Convention Center, Screenings from 11am-7pm Friday, August 2 & Saturday, August 3) Reserve your screening time beginning July 15 by visiting NCBlackRep.org.

TEENTASTIC (COLLABORATIVE TEEN INITIATIVE)

TeenTastic, a collaboration with the City of Winston-Salem, and Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department offers programs to entertain and educate teens from ages 13 – 17 about the arts. Activities include a Fashion Show, a live DJ, and opportunities for teens in the community to showcase their talent, and even some celebrity sightings. Coordinated by Maxine Ford and Bryce Sherman from the Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department. (Education Annex, Winston-Salem Fairgrounds)

THERAPEUTIC POWER OF THEATRE

Alyson Williams, who portrays Phyllis Hyman in BETCHA BY GOLLY WOW, there’s NEVER TOO MUCH, and Kelvin Roston, who channels Donny Hathaway in Twisted Melodies, join mental health providers from Novant Health for a panel discussion on suicide prevention and the mental health challenges faced by artists. (Marriott Hotel – 11am, July 31)

WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS

Enjoy a variety of free workshops and seminars daily. Master Acting Coach Vera Katz guides you through the art of character development. Discover the dynamic strength of Black Women Behind the Mic. Learn how actors 50+ continue to thrive in the arts. Keep your body and spirit in harmony during morning rhythmic dance. Complete Workshops and Seminars schedule available July 1 at ncblackrep.org. Coordinated by Maxine Ford. (Marriott and Embassy Suites Hotels)

YOUTH CELEBRITY PROJECT

Youths of all ages from across the country interact with celebrities and theatre professionals. The Youth Celebrity Project includes a youth talent show, a storytelling festival, and select productions. Coordinated by Cleopatra Solomon. For additional information, call 336.723.2266. (Embassy Suites Winston-Salem)