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Black Arts MKE Announces Theatre Festival Lineup

The 3-week-long event will offer ticketed and free events at various venues throughout Milwaukee this summer.

MILWAUKEE: Black Arts MKE will present the MKE Black Theatre Festival Aug. 9-27. The three-week-long celebration of Black arts and culture will host ticketed and free events at various venues throughout Milwaukee, including two full productions, a play development workshop, an audition master class, poetry set, and more. Tickets will go on sale in June.

“We are thrilled and proud to bring back the MKE Black Theatre Festival to our city,” said festival directors Kyndal Johnson and Vato Vergara in a statement. “This year’s festival is our biggest and best yet, and we can’t wait to share it with the community.”

This year’s lineup will feature productions of Mud Row by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Marti Gobel, and The Meeting by Jeff Stetson, directed by Denzel Taylor. Mud Row follows two generations of sisters in an area in the East End of West Chester, Pa., as they attempt to work through themes of race, class, love, loss, and family, in order to break and bend generational patterns. The production is a new collaboration with Marquette University’s VIP Theatre Program. The Meeting is a one-act play that depicts the supposed meeting of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Additional festival events include a session of “Reflections on Black History” with Everett Marshburn, facilitated by Sheri Williams Pannell and Clayborn Benson III; a Youth and Family Night directed by Ashley S. Jordan; auditions for Langston Hughes’s Black Nativity; a play development workshop; an audition master class with Marti Gobel; and a poetry set featuring Cedric Dale Hoard and Jasmine Sims. Programming will take place at Marquette University, The Table at Alice’s Garden, Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum, and Studio 4A at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

Black Arts MKE is a Black-led nonprofit performing arts organization serving predominantly Black communities. Black Arts MKE is committed to increasing the availability and quality of African American arts and culture.

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