Juneteenth is here, and the theatre industry is commemorating the historic day (on track to become a national holiday in the U.S.) with a slate of virtual programming honoring Black culture, theatre, dance, and more. The June 19 holiday marks the day in 1865 when many of the last slaves in America were informed of their freedom.
Below is a list of virtual events—with some in-person events found even further down. All times are Eastern.
To learn more about Juneteenth, check out this guide from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History Culture.
Ailey Juneteenth Celebration (on demand)
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents a tribute that features performance highlights from Ailey’s own works, Cry and Revelations, as well as Rennie Harris’ Lazarus. It also features Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle’s latest BattleTalk with Opal Lee, Samuel Collins, and Reginald Adams discussing the historical significance of Juneteenth and why Americans of all races should celebrate it as a national holiday. The special presentation premiered June 16 and is available to watch for free on demand through June 23 at 7 PM.
Vasthy’s Friends Celebrate Juneteenth (June 19 at Noon)
Tony nominee Lilli Cooper (Tootsie), Gilbert L. Bailey (Beetlejuice), Jerusha Cavazos (The Prom), and Beyoncé tour bassist Divinity Roxx join Vasthy Mompoint for a special edition of her kid-friendly show featuring singing, dancing, storytelling, and fun sketches created by the special guests.
BFRJ X New York City Center (June 19 at TBD)
Throughout the week, the two groups are collaborating on a social media series contextualizing the holiday and examining the influence of Blackness in American theatre. The series will be shared on City Center’s Instagram throughout the week, culminating in a roundtable discussion to air June 19 on IGTV. Panelists include Broadway for Racial Justice members Kayla Davion, Brandon Michael Nase, Noax, and Sis.
Juneteenth Celebration Concert (June 19 at 7 PM)
In recognition of historically underrepresented African-American composers like Adolphus Hailstork and Herbie Hancock, the Music Conservatory of Westchester offers musical performances by the school’s faculty and an opportunity to learn more about the featured composers. The event will include a question-and-answer session with the performers talking about the various composers and stories behind the music.
A Tribe Called Tubman (June 19 at 7 PM)
This special video production is written by artist and educator Idris Goodwin. In this 21st century spin on the radical life of an American revolutionary icon, Harriet Tubman prepares for the fight. Starring Jada Suzanne Dixon, A Tribe Called Tubman bends time to meditate on the state of our nation. This stream is free to educators; an on-demand version is available for a fee.
Us Supporting Us (June 19-21 at 7 PM)
Project1VOICE, an organization dedicated to supporting theatre and the performing arts by people of African descent, will commemorate its 10th anniversary with a free, three-day online event. The celebration begins June 19 with Liberation: African Grove Theatre, a conversation on legacy, followed by Jubilation: Project1VOICE Honors June 20 and Community: One Play One Day–Autumn’s Harvest June 21. The latter is a virtually staged reading of Autumn’s Harvest by Dominique Morisseau specifically adapted for young audiences.
Live with Carnegie Hall: Juneteenth Celebration (June 19 at 7:30 PM)
Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr.—along with special guest Wayne Brady—lead this celebration to recognize the importance of this historic day and to acknowledge the long road still ahead. In addition to music, dance, and commentary, the evening also recognizes contributions made by prominent African-Americans today: Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and Robert F. Smith, chair of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees.
Fred! (June 19 at 8 PM)
The Speakers, Publishers, and Authors Association presents a hip-hop musical inspired by the life of Frederick Douglass.
Plus, check out some in-person events taking place around the country:
Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth (noon in Times Square, NYC)
A Juneteenth Celebration With Joe’s Pub (4:30 PM outside The Public Theater, NYC)
Juneteenth Celebration (noon PT at The Old Globe, San Diego)
Juneteenth Celebration (7:30 PM PT at The Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles)