We are so proud of the creative work of the playwrights, directors, actors, videographers and all of the creative forces involved with helping this years CBTF be a success during a COVID-19 pandemic.
We are also proud that the work presented this year represents the current emotional and unsettling times in America due to the cries for racial equality and an acknowledgement that BLACK LIVES MATTER and that it is time for us as a country to look at how racism has continued to destroy our nation.
The recent death of GEORGE FLOYD that was viewed "live" by the entire world has sparked a new urgency in the cause for JUSTICE FOR ALL people, which includes people of color. We hope that this year's CBTF has helped to encourage open dialogue, empathy, compassion and has given a voice to the unheard.
Julie Whitney Scott, Founder
8th CBTF Production Team
The team discusses the challenges, rewards and the ten month process to get to this years 8th Annual CBTF during a pandemic and social distancing year.
The 8th Annual Columbus Black Theatre Festival (CBTF) is this past July 10th thru July 12th was presented as a free live virtual streaming event this year on our Facebook Columbus Black Theatre Festival page. This year our theme was "INCLUSION"which is very appropriate as the plays selected through a "Blind Read" included works written by people of all races, directed by people of color, and performed by people of all colors. The performances were memorized and not read to give the best possible theatre experience using virtual and social distancing guidelines and means.
We opened the festival with a meet and greet the CBTF Team Members, Playwrights, Directors and Actors as we present interviews and awards.
The plays presented were:
I CAN FLY: A monologue by Gary Sironen from Grand Rapids,
SYNOPSIS: A student learns the power, value, and danger of secrets. This story is an allegory intended to stimulate discussion, loosely based on the author's experience with the coming out of their transgender son.
MAN DOWN: A monologue by Mimi Ayers from New Orleans, Louisiana
SYNOPSIS: CRANE OPERATOR: A skilled professional responsible for operating a
mobile crane to lift, move, position, and reposition loads. We watch him, through time, go from a productive strong man to an elderly frail man.
NOT NOTICING: A Dialogue in Black and White: A ten-minute play by James E. Marlow from Michigan
SYNOPSIS: A white man with a large backpack enters a crowded bus and sits next to a black man. Both are tall and feel crowded. When the bus empties, however, a conversation begins about why the white man does not get up and move to an empty seat to give both of them more room to stretch out.
SHE WANTED ME: A monologue by Marj O’Neill-Butler, Miami Beach, FL
SYNOPSIS: A teenage girl with no family who will care for her, desperately seeks to be wanted and looked after.
THE ROPE: A play by Dan Morra from Middletown, PA
SYNOPSIS:Upon arriving at the outfield bleachers after being removed from a spring training game in Tampa in 1956, Cincinnati Reds teammates Brooks Lawrence, a veteran pitcher, and Ed Bailey, a young catcher, discover that a rope divides the "white" section from the "colored" one. As they sit on either side of this rope, they discuss their pasts and their futures and realize that they have far more in common than anyone would assume.
SAY THE NAMES: A monologue by Andrea Fleck Clardy from Boston, MA
SYNOPSIS: The experience and conflicting feelings of a white woman who attends Black Lives Matter vigils the first Thursday of every month.
CHRISTMAS GIG: A play by Letha Dawson from CA.
SYNOPSIS: It’s Christmas Eve. Light mist makes it hard to see on a deserted street corner where a black man and white woman wait at a bus stop. Appearances aren’t always what they seem.
THE GIRL SCOUT: A monologue by Julie Whitney Scott from Columbus, OH
SYNOPSIS: A black woman reminisces about her childhood experience with the Girl Scouts attempt to recruit black girls from her public elementary school in the 1960's.
The festival ended with a talk-back with some of the CBTF Team Members, Directors, Actors and Playwrights about their experience with the festival this year.