The festival — which will feature the playwrights Dominique Morisseau (Detroit '67); Winter Miller (The Penetration Project); Dan O'Brien (The Body of An American) in a collaboration with the musician Quetzal Flores; Marcus Gardley (Every Tongue Confess); Mona Mansour and Tala Manassah (co-authors of After); and A. Rey Pamatmat (Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them) — is presented in response to the debates and nationwide protests following George Zimmerman's acquittal.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, FL, shot and killed Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager, in February 2012. Zimmerman claimed that he killed Martin in self-defense.
Keith Josef Adkins, a co-founder and the artistic director of The New Black Fest, told the New York Times that The Alliance Theater in Atlanta, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Goodman Theater in Chicago, Center Stage in Baltimore, the Woolly Mammoth in Washington, D.C. and the National Black Theater in New York have agreed to produce the work. Each theatre will hire its own actors and director and have creative control of the plays.
"The playwrights said 'yes' immediately and the theatres said 'yes' immediately," Adkins said to the Times. "I certainly feel like while we have conversations around race and privilege in black communities, I wanted the conversations to be integrated."
More information about The New Black Fest can be found by visiting thenewblackfest.org.