BLACK THEATRE DAY
Black Theatre Day or #BlackTheatreDay (September 17) is an annual day of solidarity and service, to celebrate and support 21st century Black theatres in their ongoing efforts to build sustainable, institutional wealth.
In Fall 2021, The International Black Theatre Summit, biennially convened by The CRAFT Institute, commemorated the 200th anniversary of the African Grove Theatre’s opening night on September 17, 1821 by launching the inaugural #Black Theatre Day with a day of virtual events in collaboration with The Billie Holiday Theatre. As the first known professional Black theatre company in the United States—composed of Black Americans and African-Caribbeans—the company launched the career of Ira Aldridge, who claimed to be an African prince as he toured Europe; arguably the greatest Shakespearean tragedian of all times. Currently staging a production of Carlyle Brown’s The African Company Presents Richard III, which recounts the story of their immense talent and experiences with racial bias, St. Louis Black Rep is one of many participating organizations hosting a series of such events to celebrate Black Theatre Day.
Black Theatre Day, as an annual celebration, increases visibility of Black Theatres to encourage donations of money, time and service throughout the year.
Over the past two years the Black Theatre Day campaign has been led by The International Black Theatre Summit and The CRAFT Institute. With additional support from WACO Theatre Center, Project1Voice, and Plowshares. Over the years, additional participants have included: Black Theatre Network, National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts, National Association of Black Theatre Building Owners, and more!
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
To participate, fill out our Black Theatre Day interest form! We will keep this form live all year round to learn and amplify Black-led organizations, as well as to have your contact information for next year's Black Theatre Day celebrations.
After you fill out the form, join the social media campaign! You have a few ways to celebrate:
Post the Black Theatre Day graphic on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with hashtags (see below).
Record a video of you saying: “Happy Black Theatre Day from [Name of Organization and location]! Join us in celebrating over 200 years of Black theatre by donating $5, 5 hours or more to [Name of Black Theatre] and inviting 5 friends or family members to #SupportBlackTheatre. Come see our show [Insert Show/Event] on Sept. 17. To donate to [Name of Theatre] click here: [insert link].”
Post images and videos of your Black theater productions and activities.
Share other Black theatres posts throughout the day on your Instagram story and Facebook page and Twitter!
Are you a part of the Theatre Educator Community?
Here are ways you can participate and invite your students to join the Black Theatre Day celebrations as well!
Get your classes involved by inviting your students to share CRAFT's posts and the posts of their local Black theatres, along with a fun fact on Black Theatre!
Assign your students to do the activities on the educational resource provided by CRAFT and BTA (Black Theatre Association).
Invite your departments and campuses to participate as well! Use this email template.
DON'T FORGET THE HASHTAGS!
When making your social media posts, be sure to include the following hashtags so we can uplift your post on The CRAFT Institute’s page as well!
BLACK THEATRE DAY CELEBRATIONS
Listed are the events that took place on Sept 17, 2022 in celebration of Black Theatre Day. We look forward to uplifting the upcoming 2023 celebrations. If you have an event this Sept please share with email@example.com to be added to this list!
Be a part of Black Theatre in San Francisco and celebrate Black Theatre Day with us on 9/17!
In celebration of Black Theatre Day, SF is excited to announce the first ever BLACK THEATRE DAY on 9/17, an initiative to amplify Black-led theatre organizations and their Fall projects, in partnership with Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, SF Recovery Theatre, AfroSolo, and African-American Shakespeare Co.
Ladies Ring Shout 2.0: Staged Reading Performances
Ladies Ring Shout 2.0 is a Black feminist quality-of-life performance project performed by Honey Pot Performance. Tickets can be bought here.
Go on an tell ‘em
The evening experience, “Go on an tell ‘em” is a showcase of monologues from know and unknown black playwrights, emboldening us to define and create what we want the future of black theater to look like for us, by us right here in the South. Tickets can be bought here.
The August Wilson Society (AWS) is pleased to continue its popular August Wilson's Ground lecture series by hosting yet another major voice on the enduring impact of August Wilson's American Century Cycle plays! This year's lecture, “Through the Mirror Backwards: The Past Presence in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle Plays,” will be delivered by Willa J. Taylor, who serves as the Walter Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. Taylor will look at what seems to be prescient and cyclical conversations between the past and present that run throughout The American Century Cycle, with specific emphasis upon Wilson’s ninth play: KING HEDLEY II. More info here (https://bit.ly/AWSLecture_Sept22 )
The African Company Presents Richard III
The St. Louis Black Repertory Company will share a performance of The African Company Presents Richard III (Edison Theatre at Washington University St. Louis, Tickets are $50 Adults, $45 Seniors, $15. Tickets can be purchased here.
St. Louis, MO
August Wilson: Milestones in Black Theatre
New Works Writers Series presents August Wilson: Milestones in Black Theatre
Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman on Broadway celebrates their first preview on September 17, 2022!
New York, NY
The Blue Series: Bridges and Boundaries
The Blue Bistro Creative, APEX, and IMPACT Atlanta International Magazine are presenting the 8th installment of The Blue Series called The Blue Series: Bridges and Boundaries. The plays follow the descendants of one Black Family who are struggling within the American racist society from the time of Reconstruction to 2096. Tickets are on Eventbrite for $30. The show runs from Sep. 15-18. Tickets here.
The Legend of Bass Reeves
Floyd J. McCree Theatre presents "The Legend of Bass Reeves," two 1-act plays depicting the exploits of the first U.S. Deputy Marshall west of the Mississippi in the country, running September 15 - October 1, 2022.
All tickets $10.00. Call (810) 787-2200 for tickets or additional information.
Support Black Theatre
Support Black Theatre is announcing their new partnership with Ebony Repertory Theatre, and launching their SBT Speaker Series with a special guest artist to be in conversation with community members.
Los Angeles, CA
Mother/son by Lewis Morrow Directed by Nicole Hodges Persley
KC Melting Pot Theatre present Mother/son! Purchase tickets here
Denizen Arts' Walk the (pink) Elephant
Denizen Arts' Walk The (pink) Elephant at Philadelphia's Performance Garage. A world premier dance theater ritual of reckoning, defiance, regeneration and celebration in the face of black communities' ongoing struggle with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Tickets $12 - $25. Visit whitneyhunter.com/denizen or performancegarage.org for details.