49th Season

Black to the


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September 13 - October 1, 2017

July 11 - 29th 2018

Co Production with Hi-Arts of

The Peculiar Patriot

written and performed by

Liza Jessie Peterson

directed by Talvin Wilks

The Peculiar Patriot confronts the complex and critical issue of mass incarceration. With more than 2.5 million people behind bars, America is the world’s leading prison superpower. The Peculiar Patriot examines the human impact and inhuman machinery of the prison industrial complex and shines a glaring light on the racial disparities that feed the draconian system. The play follows protagonist Betsy LaQuanda Ross, a self-proclaimed peculiar patriot, as she makes regular visits to penitentiaries to boost the morale of her incarcerated friends and family, navigating love between barbed wire. As she shares neighborhood updates and gossip and reminisces about family, Betsy delivers a shrewd indictment of the criminal justice system in her own authentic and inimitable style, with a heavy dose of humor to boot.

April 18 - May 6, 2018


Co-Production with

Classical Theatre of Harlem and Pemberley Productions

Sancho: An Act of Remembrance
conceived, written and performed by

Paterson Joseph
co-directed by

 Simon Godwin


He was born on a slave ship but never a slave, was immortalized by the great English painter Thomas Gainsborough, and in 1774 became the first British-African to cast a vote. In this endlessly revealing, often funny one-man show, celebrated Royal Shakespeare Company actor Paterson Joseph (Julius Caesar, 2013 Winter/Spring; HBO’s The Leftovers) inhabits the curious, daringly determined life of Charles “Sancho” Ignatius—composer, social satirist, general man of refinement—while casting new light on the often misunderstood narratives of African-British experience.


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November 15 - November 19, 2017

written by Nambi E. Kelley

directed by Elizabeth Van Dyke


Blood by Nambi E. Kelley follows a dying Scipio as his estranged son visits, taking audiences on a journey spanning time and blood memory, as Scipio questions his existence as a Black revolutionary, a father, a man. Blood is directed by Elizabeth Van Dyke and runs November 15 to 19.

This play is being developed through the I Am Soul - Playwright Residency Program.


 I Will Not Lie to David

February 21-25, 2018
Written by Angelica Chéri

Directed by Cezar Williams

I Will Not Lie to David, Part Three of The Prophet’s Cycle introduces Fatima, who, 30 years after her mother’s passing, battles to unlock the secret purpose for her birth, hidden in the mysteries of her father’s prophesied gift, and a gift she never knew she had.


This play is being developed through the I Am Soul - Playwright Residency Program.


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Serious Adverse Effects

March 28 - April 1, 2018
written by Derek Lee McPhatter
director by Mary E. Hodges 

An unconventional scientist is on the cusp of a cure for a mysterious disease. But to complete her research she must find forgiveness from a family with no reason to trust her and embrace the transformative potential of her own healing. From the marvels of the modern laboratory to the inner depths of the human psyche, Serious Adverse Effects is an imaginative contemporary drama inspired by the resilience of African-American women in the twenty-first century. 


This play is being developed through the I Am Soul - Playwright Residency Program.

Keep Soul Alive – Reading Series
September, 2017 - June, 2018

The Keep Soul Alive - Reading Series is a monthly reading series that showcased the works of nineteen (20) Black Playwrights within our 49th Season. The readings took place on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm at National Black Theatre. 



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Dramaturgical Lobby Exhibitions

The Tenth Annual

TEER Spirit Awards Gala

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Tenth Annual TEER Spirit Awards Gala recognizes 49 years NBT has impacted this community, while honoring visionaries within the community that exemplify the attributes of three pioneers within National Black Theatre’s history: Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, NBT’s Founder & Visionary, Adetunde Samuel, a charismatic producer who headed NBT’s award-winning Theatre Arts Program, and Fredrica L. Teer, an institution builder who conceived and organized the foundation that made the idea of National Black Theatre a reality. Outside of these awards, National Black Theatre honors a Pioneer of Black Theatre and gives Trail Blazer to individuals for outstanding contributions to their community. The Teer Spirit Awards was inaugurated in 2008 after the passing of Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, the founder of the National Black Theatre. June 18th is the birth date of Dr. Barbara Ann Teer and is called Founder’s Day.

Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's

National Black Theatre
Institute of Action Arts