N.C. Black Rep unites with Winston-Salem to provide entertainment for teens at theater festival

N.C. Black Rep unites with Winston-Salem to provide entertainment for teens at theater festival
June 11
00:00 2015

In the photo above: At right, Dasia Amos, of The POINTE! Studio of Dance, performed a segment from the dance version of “Annie” for the National Black Theatre Festival press conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Winston-Salem on Monday, June 8. (Photo by Erin Mizelle for the Winston-Salem Chronicle)

By Tevin Stinson
The Chronicle

The phrase “Put on your purple and black, because the National Black Theatre Festival is back!” continued to echo through the halls of the Embassy Suites in downtown Winston-Salem, on Monday June 8.

To build momentum for this year’s 14th bi-annual festival, officials from the North Carolina Black Repertory Company made several important announcements concerning this years performances and visiting celebrities.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams, best known for their roles in soap opera “All My Children,” would be the celebrity co-chairs for this year’s event. Other celebrities that will be in the area during the festival include Bill Cobbs, Nate Jacobs, Obba Babatunde, Maurice Hines, Robert Hooks and a host of others.

The festival will feature a wide range of theatrical performances, including dramas, comedies, musicals, choreoplays and multimedia. Festival goers will be able to choose from more than 130 performances of new works and black classics performed by professional black theatre companies from across the country and abroad.

With 37 different companies, from 20 different states, and two outside countries, this year’s festival is guaranteed to have something for all ages to enjoy.

The year’s festival will be Aug. 3-8.

Renita Brewington, president of the N.C. Black Repertory Company believes black theatre is for everyone, and more than any other year, this year’s festival will reflect that as well.

“This year’s festival is for everyone. We have events for all ages, from teens to seniors. We have it all,” Brewington said.

The “TeenTastic” portion of the festival will be collaborating with the Winston-Salem Parks & Recreation Department to offer programs to entertain teens. From 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, teens will be given a place to explore the festival. Complete with musical performances from local artist, this year’s “TeenTastic” will be more entertaining than years past.

Evan Raleigh, city coordinator for the festival, said it was important that the teens had their own place to enjoy the festival.

“Going into this year’s festival, we wanted to make sure we had something for everyone, including teens,” Raleigh said. “I think we accomplished that with ‘TeenTastic.’”

During the event at Embassy Suites, it was also revealed that national recording artist K-Camp will be performing during “TeenTastic” as well.
Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, executive producer of the NBTF, has seen the evolution of the event and believes her late husband would be proud of what the festival has become.

“Every year the festival seems to get better and better,” Sprinkle-Hamlin said. “This is exactly what Larry imagined when he laid out his plans for this event.”

Other events that are drawing a lot of attention from this years festival include Midnight Poetry Jam, International Vendors Market, National Youth Talent Showcase and a number of other workshops and seminars to go along with a number of productions and films that highlight the festival every year.
The National Black Theatre Festival was founded by the late Larry Leon Hamlin and is the international outreach program of the N.C. Black Repertory Company. Held biannually since 1989, the festival has been known to bring thousands of national and international patrons, professionals and scholars to Winston-Salem for a five-day showcase of African American theatre, art and music.

For more information on the festival and to see a complete list of productions, visit

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