Black theater to take center stage in Winston-Salem week of Aug. 3

Black theater to take center stage in Winston-Salem week of Aug. 3
July 30
00:00 2015

In above photo: Prime Tyme Soul Cafe  on University Parkway already is welcoming the National Black Theatre Festival before it starts on Aug. 3 (Photo by Donna Rogers)

60,000 people are expected

Winston-Salem is about to have an explosion, of the good kind.

Next week, the city can expect 60,000 people – including 50 celebrities of film, television and stage – to come for the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF).

Over 100 performances by 30 of the best black theatre companies from the United States and places worldwide will be part of the festival, says the N.C. Black Repertory Company, which produces the festival every two years.

The company is based in Winston-Salem.

The festival runs Monday through Saturday, with a private reception for celebrities on Sunday and a star-studded gala on Monday night.

The festival will offer all kinds of plays, from ones that center on well-known people to ones based on history and new plays that are based on various aspects of life.

“Letters from Zora: In Her Own Words,” which is based on Zora Neale Hurston, is one of the plays.

It stars stage, screen, television actress and dancer Vanessa Bell Calloway.

In an interview last week, Calloway said she is energized while at the NBTF.

Some plays also are based on books.

One play, “The Bluest Eye,” is based on a book by Toni Morrison.

That book is on display in a mega bookstore in Winston-Salem as one of the books everyone must read.

Plays will not be the only links to The Arts during the festival.

Films will be shown, an international colloquium will be held, tributes and awards will be given and workshops will take place.

Even youth will have plenty to do during the festival, including attend Midnight Poetry Jam, in which poets of all skill levels can sign up immediately before the event to perform on stage.

Youth also have other activities, including Teentastic activities on Aug. 6 through 8. (See details in the National Black Theatre Festival tab inside The Chronicle.)

Some of the activities will be free, but most will cost admission.

Estimates are that $10 million will be pumped into the Winston-Salem economy next week.

One business is already welcoming the NBTF. Prime Tyme Soul Cafe on University Parkway, already has fliers and signs that say it “welcomes the Black Theatre Festival.” and “Black Arts Festival.”

It is advertising entertainment next week and its soul food plate.

Winston-Salem Delta Fine Arts Inc., is sponsoring a ‘late night blues dinner fundraiser’ during the National Black Theater Festival.

And 56 friends are traveling by bus from St. Louis to attend the festival.

The group plans to attend the production of “At Last: A Tribute to Etta James” while they are here.

About Author

Donna Rogers

Donna Rogers

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors