DETROIT: The 2022 Obsidian Theatre Festival is returning to stages in Motor City June 23-26 for its second iteration, and this year’s festival is bringing new elements. After reviewing 140 submissions, the festival selected four plays to be showcased: Shawntai Brown’s We Own Everything, Brandy Victoria Durham’s Wild Horses, Mykai Eastman’s Miss Education, and M.D. Schaffer’s A Rodeo Clown.
This year’s festival is bringing in new additions, such as a musical theatre showcase as well as a cabaret. The chosen musical theatre finalists are Ann Eskridge and Alton James’s The Chicken Never Crossed and Jerome A. Parker’s Freida or, The Red, Blue, and Black. LuLu Fall and Ben Will are this year’s cabaret artists. Likewise, while last year in its debut the festival was completely streamed, this year in-person performances will be offered as well. This year the festival also added a play review committee, comprised Wayne State University assistant chair of Theatre and Dance, Billicia Hines and New York University Gallatin professor of Dramatic Writing and Detroit native Michael Dinwiddie.
The Obsidian Theatre Festival strives to elevate Black stories and a space for Black playwrights to workshop and showcase their art. “Our second season is about forward momentum, using the energy from last year to propel us into a new future,” said John Sloan III, founding artistic producer and Ghostlight Productions CEO John Sloan III, in a statement. “One where Black stories are celebrated, and the diversity of Black culture is normalized. Our second season is full of amazing artists, some returning from last year and others just joining our mission.”
The performances will take place at three separate locations in downtown Detroit: The plays at Marlene Boll Theatre at Downtown YMCA, the musicals at Chrysler Black Box at the Detroit Opera House, and the cabaret Aretha’s Jazz Cafe in the Music Hall.
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