Black Theatre Festival

The Midwest Regional Black Theatre Festival is a biennial two-week event produced by CBTC showcasing and presenting the outstanding talent of local, regional and national theatre arts professionals and non-professionals, adults and children.

The Festival Offers:
  • Exhibits of new and established African American plays and musicals
  • Theatre arts workshops and seminars
  • Music, dance, visual art and poetry slams

Festival productions, workshops and other activities are held at multiple venues throughout Greater Cincinnati.

Venues being considered for the Festival include:
  • Cincinnati Museum Center
  • School for Creative and Performing Arts
  • Xavier University
  • Madisonville Arts Center
  • Carl H. Lindner YMCACincinnati Christian University
  • Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center
  • Aronoff Center for the Arts

The Festival also includes a Celebrity Gala Awards Banquet, emceed by a celebrity of national prominence and merit in the theatre world. This black-tie event recognizes and present awards to local honorees who have made significant contributions to the Greater Cincinnati arts community. The Gala also operates as a fundraiser for CBTC, and is attended by our sponsors, patrons and invited guests.

Past Festival productions, performers and workshops include:

Past Guest Productions/Artists:

  • A Song For You: Lena Horne – Wendi Joy Franklin (NY)
  • Further Adventures of Gussie Mae in American – Letitia Guillory (NY)
  • Emergence-SEE – Daniel Beaty (NY)
  • Flava of the Month – Sarah Scott-Davis (LA)
  • Mahalia Jackson: I Found the Answer – Sharron Merriweather (KY)
  • African American Opera (by Avery Hammonds) – Lisa Marie Miree (Miss Black USA)
  • Hues of Blues . . Cause Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine – by Carlos V. Edwards (in memorial)
  • The Mirror – by Charles E. McClinon (CPI)

Past CBTC Productions:

  • Amen Corner
  • Bangin’
  • Beast of a Different Burden
  • Before It Hits Home
  • Every Voice Counts – written and performed by CBTC Children’s Theatre Co.
  • By the Time I’m 20 – by Willie James Jones for CBTC Children’s Theatre Co.
  • Once On This Island – CBTC Children’s Theatre Co.

Readers’ Theatre offerings by:

  • Paula Sherman, Phil Paradis, Deondra Kamau Means, Vanessa Arrington

Past Festival Workshops/Presenters:

  • Writer’s Workshop – Sonia Sanchez (Philadelphia)
  • Producing – Luther Goins (Actors’s Equity/Chicago)
  • Jazz & Modern Dance – Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
  • Auditioning/Resumes – C. Dean Tabler (in memorial)
  • Acting
  • African Dance
  • Black Theatre Aesthetics
  • Directing
  • Guerilla Theatre
  • Hip Hop
  • Liturgical Dance
  • Make-Up/Costumes
  • Whatcha Say? Children’s Theatre