MKE Black Theatre Festival packs even more into its 2023 lineup
Milwaukee isn’t short on opportunities to revel in the city’s arts scene. This week, it got even bigger — not through the addition of an event, but rather the expansion of one: the MKE Black Theatre Festival, which is now a nearly three-week celebration of Black arts and culture.
The event organized by Black Arts MKE will take place Aug. 9-27, offering ticketed and free events that encompass the full range of theater experiences — from auditions straight through to the finished production. Venues hosting include Marquette University, The Table at Alice’s Garden, the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum, and Studio 4A at the Marcus Performing Arts Center.
The two full plays in this year’s lineup are:
- Mud Row by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Marti Gobel follows two generations of sisters in the East End of West Chester, Penn., working through themes of race, class, love, loss and family to break and bend generational patterns set before them. The production is a new collaboration with Marquette University’s VIP Theatre Program.
- The Meeting by Jeff Stetson and directed by Denzel Taylor is a one-act play that depicts the supposed meeting of two of the most important men of modern times: Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The festival also features a variety of events that provide different perspectives on the theater experience, including.
- “Reflections on Black History” with Everett Marshburn, facilitated by Sheri Williams Pannell and Clayborn Benson III
- Youth and Family Night directed by Ashley S. Jordan
- Auditions for Black Nativity by Langston Hughes
- “Air Quote Mike,” a play development workshop with Marti Gobel
- An audition Masterclass with Marti Gobel
- A poetry set with Cedric Dale Hoard & Jasmine Sims
“We are thrilled and proud to bring back the MKE Black Theatre Festival to our city,” said Kyndal Johnson and Vato Vergara, festival directors for the 2023 MKE Black Theatre Festival. “This year’s festival is our biggest and best yet, and we can’t wait to share it with the community.”
You can find more information about this year’s festival and Black Arts MKE on the organization’s website.