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Milwaukee Black Theater Festival

August 12 - 22, 2021

The Milwaukee Black Theater Festival amplifies and celebrates Black voices through an annual citywide event. 

The Strength and Resilience of the Black Woman” is the 2021 theme and the content of this two-week Festival will include two full-length productions, a new play reading, an outdoor youth night, and a kickoff event celebrating the Black theatre pioneers of Milwaukee. Additional opportunities for conversation and collaboration will round out the Festival to create a meaningful and dimensional experience for audiences and artists alike.

Events have now concluded for the 2021 Milwaukee Black Theater Festival

PERFORMANCES

PRETTY FIRE

by Charlayne Woodard

Featuring Camara Stampley | Directed by Dimonte Henning

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!

Using storytelling traditions from the African diaspora and rich with humor, PRETTY FIRE takes us on a young girl’s journey into selfhood by showing us the best of who we can be, even through adversity. Speaking universal truth through the beauties and complexities of family life, lessons learned, and overcoming trials, this singular journey speaks to the strength and dignity of individuals who might get the short end of the stick, but walk through the world with beauty and promise.

BLACK BUTTERFLIES

by La'Ketta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb, and Sheri Williams Pannell

Featuring La'Ketta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb*, Jada Davis, and Sheri Williams Pannell

Directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

Love and loss, the church and family, dreams and disappointments, and so much more lie at the foundation of these storytellers’ lives and voices. In their own words, three dynamic local artists celebrate the stages of their lives as they explore what it means to move through the world as a Black woman in Milwaukee and beyond. Humorous and poignant, these stories unearth the beauty, fun, and challenges of life, never letting us forget that come what may there is always so much more to experience.

READINGS

EENY MEENY MINY NO!

by Lachrisa Grandberry

Featuring Adekola Adedapo, Ayanna Bakari*, Cereyna Bougouneau, Marti Gobel*, Alexis Roston*, and Malaina Moore

Directed by Marti Gobel

produced by Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Montgomery Davis New Play Development Series

Pay What You Choose, not ticketed

Sunday August 15th at 7:30PM | Cabot Theatre

Supported by Joseph and Gwenn Graboyes

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WHITE PRIVILEGE

by Malaina Moore

Featuring Agnes Connolley, Cambryelle Getter, Emma Knott, Will Knox, Malaina Moore, Caroline Norton, Margaret Phillips, Brielle Richmond, and Mario Walker

Directed by Malaina Moore

produced by the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival

Pay What You Choose, not ticketed

Tuesday, August 17th | Cabot Theatre​

For performances and events in the Cabot Theatre, all audience members will be required to wear a face mask covering both their nose and mouth at all times while inside the Broadway Theatre Center. 

 

At full capacity the Cabot Theatre seats 350 guests, capacity will be capped at no more than 150 guests per performance for this Festival with general admission seating to allow for social distancing.

Updated 8/9/21, based on recent CDC Guidance and Milwaukee County infection rates

Those requiring an exemption from wearing a mask will be sat in the Dress Circle and at the discretion of house management.

FULL SCHEDULE
Thursday August 12th

5:00PM - PREVIEW performance of BLACK BUTTERFLIES by La'Ketta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb, and Sheri Williams Pannell

produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

featuring Cynthia Cobb*, La'Ketta Caldwell, Jada Monet, Sheri Williams Pannell and directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed, preview ticket price

8:00PM - PREVIEW performance of PRETTY FIRE by Charlayne Woodard

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!

featuring Camara Stampley and directed by Dimonte Henning

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed, preview ticket price

Friday August 13th

5:30PM - Legends Gala honoring past and present Milwaukee Black-led theaters

doors open at 5:00PM, program begins at 5:30PM

All guests are encouraged to dress in African or African-inspired attire

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

8:00PM - Opening Night performance of PRETTY FIRE by Charlayne Woodard

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!

featuring Camara Stampley and directed by Dimonte Henning

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

Saturday August 14th

1:00 - 3:00PM - Milwaukee Theater Community Reunion!

It's a family reunion! All Milwaukee (and Wisconsin at large) theater artists, administrators, and funders are invited to a casual outdoor gathering to celebrate each other and the beginning of the theater season! Bring your own food and drinks. Limited park seating available.

Location: Catalano Square, North Broadway Street & East Menomonee Street.

Free

4:00PM - Performance of PRETTY FIRE by Charlayne Woodard

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!

featuring Camara Stampley and directed by Dimonte Henning

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

8:00PM - Opening Night performance of BLACK BUTTERFLIES by La'Ketta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb, and Sheri Williams Pannell

produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

featuring Cynthia Cobb*, LaKetta Caldwell, Jada Monet, Sheri Williams Pannell and directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

Sunday August 15th

2:00PM - Performance of BLACK BUTTERFLIES by La'Ketta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb, and Sheri Williams Pannell

produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

featuring Cynthia Cobb*, LaKetta Caldwell, Jada Monet, Sheri Williams Pannell and directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

7:30PM - Reading of EENY MEENY MINY NO! by Lachrisa Grandberry

produced by Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Montgomery Davis New Play Development Series

featuring Adekola Adedapo, Ayanna Bria Bakari*, Cereyna Bougouneau, Krystal Drake*, Marti Gobel*, Malaina Moore, Alexis J Roston*, and Malkia Stampley*

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

Supported by Joseph and Gwenn Graboyes

Pay what you choose

Monday August 16th

7:30PM - Milwaukee Black Theater Festival Open Mic in partnership with Sunstone Studios

MBTF’s Open Mic is open to all performers to share performance art, considering the theme “The Strength and Resilience of the Black Woman.” 
Registration information soon to be released

hosted by Linetta Alexander Islam

SUNSTONE STUDIOS, 127 East Wells Street

Free

Tuesday August 17th

7:30PM - Reading of WHITE PRIVILEGE by Malaina Moore

produced by the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival

featuring Agnes Connolley, Cambryelle Getter, Emma Knott, Will Knox, Malaina Moore, Caroline Norton, Margaret Phillips, Brielle Richmond, and Mario Walker and directed by Malaina Moore

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

Pay what you choose

Wednesday August 18th

6:30PM - Youth Night in partnership with St. Ann's Center for Intergenerational Care

featuring performances from Black Arts MKE, First Stage, K-Stamp, Milwaukee Rep, and Next Act.

ST. ANN'S INDABA BANDSHELL, 2450 W North Ave, West Parking Lot

Free

 

Thursday August 19th

5:00PM - Performance of BLACK BUTTERFLIES by LaKetta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb, and Sheri Williams Pannell

produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

featuring Cynthia Cobb*, LaKetta Caldwell, Jada Monet, Sheri Williams Pannell and directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

8:00PM - Performance of PRETTY FIRE by Charlayne Woodard

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!

featuring Camara Stampley and directed by Dimonte Henning

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

Friday August 20th

5:00PM - Performance of PRETTY FIRE by Charlayne Woodard

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!

featuring Camara Stampley and directed by Dimonte Henning

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

8:00PM - Performance of BLACK BUTTERFLIES by LaKetta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb, and Sheri Williams Pannell

produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

featuring Cynthia Cobb*, LaKetta Caldwell, Jada Monet, Sheri Williams Pannell and directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

Saturday August 21st

1:00PM - Black Creatives Forum and Fellowship 

moderated by Linetta Alexander Islam and Dimonte Henning

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

Free, open to Black Creatives

5:00PM - Performance of BLACK BUTTERFLIES by LaKetta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb, and Sheri Williams Pannell

produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

featuring Cynthia Cobb*, LaKetta Caldwell, Jada Monet, Sheri Williams Pannell and directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

8:00PM - Performance of PRETTY FIRE by Charlayne Woodard

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!

featuring Camara Stampley and directed by Dimonte Henning

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

Sunday August 22nd

2:00PM - Closing performance of PRETTY FIRE by Charlayne Woodard

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!

featuring Camara Stampley and directed by Dimonte Henning

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

5:00PM - Closing performance of BLACK BUTTERFLIES by LaKetta Caldwell, Cynthia Cobb, and Sheri Williams Pannell

produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

featuring Cynthia Cobb*, LaKetta Caldwell, Jada Monet, Sheri Williams Pannell and directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

CABOT THEATRE, Broadway Theatre Center

$ Ticketed

*Appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association

PRIMARY SPONSORS

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Katie Heil - Heil Family Foundation

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High Point Fund: Supporting African American Performing Arts

Michael Barber and Jackie Herd-Barber

The Brownstone Social Lounge

The Stampley-Johnson Family

The Workshop Circle

Reid's New Golden Gate Funder Home, Inc.

Walnut Way Conservation Corp.

UBUNTU Research and Evaluation

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