Maya Angelou to Deliver Keynote Speech at 2009National Black Theatre Festival® International Colloquium

2009 NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL®

August 3-8

Maya Angelou to Deliver Keynote Speech at

2009National Black Theatre Festival®

International Colloquium


Dr. Maya Angelou, poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, will deliver the keynote speech at the The International Colloquium on August 4 during the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Angelou served as the chair for the first Festival, founded by the late Larry Leon Hamlin in 1989. Festival officials say her presence will make the 20th Anniversary even more special.

Hamlin’s wife, Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin, emphasizes “My husband would be pleased to know that Dr. Angelou is going to be an integral part of the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Festival, because it was largely due to her support that his vision for the Festival became a reality.”

The 2009 International Colloquium promises to be exciting and informative as it draws on the theme “The Voice of Women in Black Theatre.” The International Colloquium is a collaborative effort between the National Black Theatre Festival®, Winston-Salem State University, and Black Theatre Network.

The four-day forum runs from August 4-7 and will feature lively and thought-provoking presentations. Each presentation will address the creative presence of “The Voice of Women in Black Theatre,” as seen by academicians, playwrights, poets, directors, producers, performers, critics and patrons. Each day’s presentations typically predispose audience members to experience Festival performances through the lens of the Colloquium, and then return the next day and incorporate their theatrical experience into further Colloquium exchange and dialogue.

NBTF is the international outreach program of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, also founded by the late Larry Leon Hamlin in 1979. NBTF has been held biennially since 1989. The Festival attracts thousands of national and international patrons, theatre professionals and scholars to Winston-Salem, N.C.  The event was named one of the 2009 top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association. This is the only national black theatre festival in the country offering six consecutive days of professional theatre, film, poetry, workshops, seminars and shopping.

For additional information and a schedule of events, call the festival office at

(336) 723-2266, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit us online at www.nbtf.org .

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2009 NBTF Honorees Are Announced!

2009 NBTF Honorees Are Announced

The 2009 NBTF Honorees will be presented at the Opening night Gala and Awards Banquet on August 3, 2009.  The honorees are:


SIDNEY POITIER LIFELONG ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Woodie King, Jr.

LARRY LEON HAMLIN PRODUCER AWARD
Vy Higginsen

AUGUST WILSON’S PLAYWRIGHT AWARD
Celeste Bedford Walker

LLOYD RICHARD’S DIRECTOR AWARD
Ed Smith

LIVING LEGENDS AWARD
Andre De Shields
Fatima Dike
Paul Carter Harrison
Joan Lewis
Robert Macbeth
Barbara Montgomery
Juanita Moore
Melba Moore
Clarance
(C.T.) Turner

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM
Julie Dash

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Reggie Ray

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN LIGHTING DESIGN
Shirley Prendergast

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SCENIC DESIGN
Felix Cochren

THEATRE LONGEVITY AWARD
Berkeley Black Repertory Group
Berkeley, CA

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
LaChanze, Tony Award winner for her role as “Celie”
in the Broadway production of The Color Purple

MARVTASTIC PHILANTHROPY AWARD
Hanesbrands,Inc.


2009 NBTF MainStage and Fringe Productions Announced

2009 NBTF MainStage Productions  Announced

The following companies have been selected to perform at the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival:
A HANDSOME WOMAN RETREATS (Li’l Magic Productions – Los Angeles, CA – starring Kim Wayans)
A ROSE AMONG THORNS (Ms. Thing Productions - Los Angeles, CA, starring Ella Joyce)** - Rosa Parks
ASCENSION (Robinson Williams Productions - Yonkers, NY)
AUNT RUDELE’S FAMILY REUNION ( Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe-Sarasota, FL)
BANANAS (Do It Yourself Productions – Los Angeles, CA)** – Josephine Baker
BEFORE THE PEOPLE CAME (Amun RA Theatre Co. – Nashville, TN)
BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE (The Black Gents of Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA)
BLACK MAN RISING (Obsidian Media Group, New York, NY)
DAR HE: THE LYNCHING OF EMMETT TILL (Mike Wiley Productions – Apex, NC)**
DON’T BOTHER ME, I CAN’T COPE (North Carolina Black Repertory Company, Winston, Salem, NC)
EXTREMITIES (starring Wendy Raquel Robinson, Dorien Wilson, Denise Dowse – Los Angeles, CA)
HALLEY’S COMET (The Halley’s Comet Foundation, Califon, NJ - starring John Amos)
HOPE: LIVING AND LOVING WITH HIV IN JAMAICA (Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting – Washington, DC) – Multimedia presentation
I AM WHO I AM: THE STORY OF TEDDY PENDERGRASS (Black Ensemble Theatre - Chicago, IL)
IN THE CONTINUUM (St. Louis Black Repertory Company, St. Louis, MO)
IT AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT THE BLUES (Crossroads Theatre Company, New Brunswick, NJ)
JIM BECKWOURTH: THE BLACK MOUNTAIN MAN (Noroza Productions – Los Angeles, CA)**
MILES LONG AND FRIENDS EXPERIENCE (starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner – Los Angeles, CA)
NAPPY JOURNEYS (Hurrey Up Stage & Film Works – Pensacola, FL)
REUNION IN BARTERSVILLE (Cambridge Players – Los Angeles, CA)
REVENGE OF A KING (Black Theatre Troupe, Phoenix, AZ)
SHENEEQUA CHRONICLES (Blackberry Productions – New York, NY)
SINGLE BLACK FEMALE (Black Spectrum Theatre-Queens, NY)
SPEAK OF ME AS I AM (Music Sketches – Los Angeles, CA)** – Paul Robeson
SWEET MAMA STRINGBEAN (New Federal Theatre – New York, NY)
THE HIGH PRIESTESS OF DARK ALLEY (Billie Holiday Theatre – Brooklyn, NY)
THE OBITUARY (Black Academy – Dallas, TX)
THE RESURRECTION OF ALICE (Perri Tales Productions – New York, NY)
THE RETURN (Artscape – Cape Town, South Africa)
THE STY OF THE BLIND PIG (Ensemble Theatre – Houston, TX)
THROUGH THE NIGHT (Daniel Beaty Productions – New York, NY)
UNSUNG DIVA, MUSIC FOR ONE HAND CLAPPING, THE BREACH, THE LOVE PROJECT (Cultural Odyssey – San Francisco, CA)
VOICES OF THE SPIRITS IN MY SOUL (RACCA’s Seaport Salon – New York, NY)**
WHO WILL SING FOR LENA? (Lions & Butterflies Artswork – Tulsa, OK)**  – Lena Baker
WISTERIA (Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting – Washington, DC) – Multimedia presentation
WOMYN WITH WINGS (Flow Theater, Columbus, OH)
ZORA (3 Girls on a Wall Productions – New York, NY – starring Kim Brockington)** – Zora Neale Hurston

**The inaugural Larry Leon Hamlin Solo Performance Series

NBTF Fringe Performances Selected

Four universities have been selected to perform in the NBTF Fringe program. They are as follows:

BLACK VOICES: THE HIDDEN BRUISES (Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA)
LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL (Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN)
MAD AT MILES: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth (North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC)
THE HEIRESS (California State University Dominguez Hills – Carson, CA)

2009 NBTF CO-CHAIRS ANNOUNCED!

A Marvtastic Celebration: 2009 National Black Theatre Festiva

Please mark your calendar for the 20th anniversary of the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival® ( www.nbtf.org). The Festival will be held August 3-8, 2009 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  The theme for this year’s festival remains the same as the past ten festivals: An International Celebration and Reunion of Spirit.

Ted Lange and Wendy Raquel Robinson will serve as co-chairs at this year’s festival.  The festival is a biennial event that brings together the black theatre companies of America and the world.   This year’s festival will offer a wide range of theatrical performances including drama, comedies, musicals, choreoplays and multi-media.  Choose from more than 115 performances of new works and Black classics performed by professional Black theatre companies from across the country.

This historic event illuminates the powerful theatrical spirit and extraordinary talent of Black performers, designers, directors, producers and technicians.  You will experience electrifying performances, informative workshops, riveting films and insightful spoken word that will open your eyes to a new perspective on our culture’s artistic endeavors.

On Monday, August 3rd, the Opening Night Gala will open with a vibrant parade of powerful African drummers and dancers followed by a grand and royal procession of more than 50 celebrities of television, film and stage. You can enjoy the Festival’s nightly Celebrity Receptions, National Black Film Festival, Midnight Poetry Jam, National Youth Talent Showcase, NBTF TeenTastic (Collaborative Teen Initiative), NBTF Artists Networking Showcase, NBTF Fringe, The Readers’ Theatre, International Colloquium, Storytelling Festival, Workshops & Seminars, the International Vendor’s Market, and much more.  At least 6,000 youth will be served by the Youth/Celebrity Project. Over 50,000 people are expected to attend this marvtastic theatrical experience.

Tickets may be purchased after June 3, 2009.  Prices range from $10-$42.  Opening Night Gala & Awards Banquet plus the opening production of Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope is $251.00. For more information, please visit our web site at www.NBTF.org for updates or call 336.723.2266.