Toledo Artists Join National ‘Black Theatre Day’ Celebration

Northwest Ohio’s oldest independently operating black theatre organization will host a staged community reading at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 at The Truth Gallery, 1811 Adams St. in Toledo, as part of a nationwide observance. The New Works Writers Series presentation, “August Wilson: Milestones in Black Theatre,” will celebrate the works of a legendary playwright while simultaneously recognizing Black Theatre Day.

“Despite having such notables as actor Denzel Washington featured in film and stage versions of his work, August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning legacy is not fully appreciated,” says Dr. Imelda Hunt, founder of 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 plays including The Piano Lesson and King Hedley 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” will invite participants from throughout northwest Ohio to join New Works Writers Series thespians in reading from selected Wilson writings or performing monologues from his plays. Featured artists will include actresses Vicky Brooks and Crystal Darnell, actors Richard Brown, Tillman Johnson and Rasheed Akparibo, a Scott High School exchange student from Ghana, west Africa.

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

“This year we look forward to continuing to celebrate over 200 years of Black theatre, amplifying Black theatre institutions, and encouraging year-round support of Black theaters with all of our community members,” reads a statement from Craft Institute about the Sept. 17 event.

For additional information or to request interviews media may contact New Works Writers Series at (419) 380-8464 or