By Face Off Theatre Company
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Enjoy LIVE local Black theater on your favorite device courtesy of Face Off Theatre Company! For free!
Just visit Face Off Theatre Company’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25 for a Facebook Live staged reading of "Is Black Enough?," a 10-minute play about a rising Black actor's struggle for Hollywood recognition. This theatrical premiere is the second show in our Virtual Spring/Summer New Play Series.
You, the audience, can post your thoughts in real time during the reading. The program concludes with a Q&A with the playwright who will answer your questions, plus some of ours! Join us at the same time on July 23 for a different play! The series will present a playwrighting workshop soon! Stay tuned!
“Our core mission is to provide year-round innovative diverse theater, and the pandemic has only heightened our commitment to doing that,” explains Marissa Harrington, artistic director of Face Off Theatre Company, a division of Kalamazoo's Black Arts & Cultural Center since 2015.
“We're also passionate about continuing to be a space where new and emerging playwrights of color can thrive.”
June’s featured play is Kalamazoo writer Shea-Lin Shobowale-Benson's "Is Black Enough?" Jackson Atwater is a young Black actor in Hollywood. After several bit roles he has landed a lead role in the film, “Black Like Me, Black Like You.” Jackson’s performance in the film does not go unnoticed as he receives a nomination for Best Actor on two different platforms. Jackson is conflicted in his feelings and navigates these feelings and emotions with his older sister. Although Jackson is Black and proud, he wonders if it is enough.
A brief post-play interview will be conducted by actress/writer Earlene McMichael, Face Off Theatre’s brand marketing and social media manager. The company fully staged McMichael's “You’re Gonna Learn Today” new play at last summer's Black Arts Festival in Kalamazoo.
Then the play's director, Kai Harris, will ask Shobowale-Benson the Facebook audience's questions. Harris is Face Off Theatre's production manager. She is working on a PhD. in fiction at Western Michigan University.
The play stars Dwane Stiger and Denetta Diamond, familiar faces at Face Off Theatre Company. Stiger appeared in Denise Miller's "A Ligature for Black Bodies" in July 2019, and Diamond in "Crowns" in February 2020.
Thanks for your interest in Face Off Theatre Company! To help us put on future plays, please consider a CashApp donation to $BACCFOTC. FOTC is a division of the Black Arts & Cultural Center, known as the BACC.
About Face Off Theatre Company
Face Off Theatre Company launched in 2015 as the theatrical arm of the Black Arts & Cultural Center in Kalamazoo. It is devoted to thought-provoking Black theater and the development of playwrights of color, drawing audiences from throughout Southwest Michigan to its performances at the Epic Center’s Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre and nearby artistic venues. Tickets may be purchased online about a month before the show, or at the door. For more: faceofftheatre.com
About the Black Arts & Cultural Center
The Black Arts & Cultural Center, headquartered at downtown Kalamazoo's Epic Center, is widely known for its annual Black Arts Festival since founding in 1986. The organization develops the potential and creativity in Blacks in the Kalamazoo area, advances the awareness of Black artistic ability, helps to preserve Black cultural heritage and enhance interactions among diverse groups. For more: blackartskalamazoo.org
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