The National Black Theatre has announced a slate of Fall 2020 programming aimed at looking to the future. Among the four works being presented are INTER//STELLAR by Ebony Noelle Golden and Love is the Message! Joy is the Revival. by NBT Artistic Director Jonathan McCrory.
“This fall is a powerful moment for NBT to empower the artists who help us innovate and imagine a different and new future,” said McCrory. “We have been bombarded with the unfortunate fatal and uncomfortable truth that the system we have been accustomed to is not working. Amplifying a ‘salve’ is what NBT has been known to do for the last fifty-two years, so let us build the future, now! The next generation is waiting, watching, and ready. They are counting on us to make a difference.”
The season begins with Unbought and Unbossed: Reclaiming Our Vote (September 18–October 28), to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment ratification. In partnership with the voting non-profit When We All Vote, the digital series is inspired by Shirley Chisholm and features several micro-commissions by Black women artists, including Ngozi Anyanwu, Hope Boykin, and Mahogany L. Browne.
Up next is INTER//STELLAR (October 15-18), Golden’s play that follows three young professionals in the moments leading up to an encounter that will change their lives. The project was helped by creative consultant, dramaturg, and look book designer Viktor Le. Givens and assistant director Paris Weeden.
McCrory’s piece (also running October 15–18) is inspired by Arthur Jafa’s Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death. Through a process of sharing personal stories, lessons, and musings, the ensemble will look at the ways that love shows up in people’s lives. Dominique Rider joins the project as associate director.
Both are co-presentations with New York University Tisch School of the Arts and devised with current students.
The season concludes with Retreat (November 19–22), a radio play by NBT I AM SOUL playwright resident Tracey Conyer Lee. Directed by Zhailon Levingston, the work follows the true story of a man who received a life sentence.
In addition, the company will continue its NBT @ HOME series with its monthly conversation program The Download. The September 10 episode features McCrory, NBT Co-Curator ChelseaDee, Interactive Social Media Manager Nia Farrell, and CEO Sade Lythcott.
NBT has also created an open call for members of its community to write their own Letter to the Future (based on Founder and CEO Emerita Dr. Barbara Ann Tee’s piece written in 1991) and participate in a time capsule to help inspire the future, with submissions open through December 31. To submit your response, click here.
For more information about the season, visit NationalBlackTheatre.org.