New Works Writers Series Hosts “Black Theatre Day” Celebration

Special to The Truth

Northwest Ohio’s oldest independently operating Black theatre organization hosted a staged community reading at the Truth Gallery on September 17 as part of a nationwide observance. The New Works Writers Series presented “August Wilson: Milestone in Black Theatre,” and read Fences to celebrate the playwright and recognize Black Theatre Day.

“Despite having such notables as actor Denzel Washington featured in the film and sage versions of his work, August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning legacy is not fully appreciated,” said Imelda Hunt, founder of the New Works Writers Series. “Black Theatre Day is the perfect opportunity for both those familiar and those unfamiliar with Wilson to come out and support the arts and experience the depth of his talent.”

Known for other plays such as The Piano Lesson and King Hadley II, Wilson captured Black America’s evolution in dramatic works representing a century. In a manner similar to open mic poetry, “August Wilson: Milestones in Black Theatre” invited participants from throughout northwest Ohio to join New Works thespians in reading from selected Wilson writings or performing monologues from his plays.

A packed room at the Truth Gallery listened as the New Works’ artists reenacted the Fences tale.

Featured artists included actresses Vicky Brooks and Crystal Darnell, actors Richard Brown, Tillman Johnson and Rasheed Akparibo.

Black Theatre Day was launched by the Lexington, Mass-based Craft Institute, a collective of scholars and artists.