What you need to know about the mostly free Milwaukee Black Theater Festival, Aug. 10-14

·2 min read
Camara Stampley performs in "Pretty Fire," part of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival in 2021.
Camara Stampley performs in "Pretty Fire," part of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival in 2021.

The Milwaukee Black Theater Festival returns Aug. 10-14, with mostly free events at multiple locations, including a world premiere about local people affected by gun violence.

As part of the festival, Bronzeville Arts Ensemble will stage "Milwaukee Voices of Gun Violence" by producing artistic director Sheri Williams Pannell. Her documentary theater production will be performed at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Marcus Center's Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, 929 N. Water St. Talkbacks will follow each performance.

The theme for the third annual iteration of the festival, presented by Black Arts MKE, is "The Black Family: Generations Speak!"

Other festival events include:

  • Readings of "Hidden Heroes" by Shà Cage, a play about Black women who worked for NASA. Produced by First Stage and directed by Samantha Montgomery. 1 and 3:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at Milwaukee Youth Arts Center; 2 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum. For people ages 7 and older.

  • "Khloe’s Beautiful Blues," a staged reading by La’Ketta Caldwell. 1 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at The Table Vocational Center, 5305 W. Capitol Drive. Produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble.

  • A staged reading of "This Just In" by local playwright Malaina Moore, a one-act play about "police brutality, media and community."4 p.m. Aug. 14, Marcus Performing Arts Center Studio 4A, 123 E. State St.

  • Youth & Family Night event with preview performances by First Stage, Milwaukee Chamber Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Next Act Theatre and Signature Dance Company. 6 p.m. Aug. 10, St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, 2450 W. North Ave.

The Milwaukee Black Theater Festival Family Reunion Concert at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13 is a fundraiser for the festival at the Marcus Center's Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall. Music director  Antoine Reynolds and company plan a night of R&B and gospel music. Purchase tickets at marcuscenter.org.

For more info about the festival, visit the Black Arts MKE website. 

Contact Jim Higgins at jim.higgins@jrn.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jhiggy.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Need to know info about Milwaukee Black Theater Festival, Aug. 10-14