49th Season

Black to the


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September 13 - October 1, 2017

July 11 - Jul 29, 2018

Co Production with Hi-Arts


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

Patterson Joseph
co -directed by

Patterson Joseph & 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.



November 15 - November 19, 2017

written by Nambi E. Kelley

directed by Elizabeth Van Dyke

Scipio is dying. His estranged son visits. What happens when these two men meet after decades of silence? Blood takes us into the journey of Scipio's mind spanning time, reality, and blood memory to question the very essence of his own existence as a Black revolutionary, a father, a man.

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

Music by Ross Baum


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.



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.

Year-Round Programs:

I Am Soul - Playwright Residency

In celebration of almost a half a century of nurturing Black playwrights, National Black Theatre is proud to announce the continuation of this program to support two Black playwrights Eric Micha Holmes & Lee Edward Colston II. Through the program, playwrights will be supported in developing a new play during an eighteen (18) month residency, which will culminate in a Workshop Production in NBT’s 49th Season.  For more information please Click Here.


Soul Producing Residency

Working to train the next generation of producers, general managers, and curators of the future, NBT give a Black producer an 8-month residency to call NBT home. Through this program, we seek to help give artists of color the opportunity to have real time experience to learn and develop the skills and network needed to produce in NYC. This year's resident is Tola Ozim .

Keep Soul Alive – Reading Series

Start Date:  September 12, 2017

The Keep Soul Alive - Reading Series is a monthly reading series that will showcase the works of nineteen (20) Black Playwrights within our 49th Season. The readings take place on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm at National Black Theatre. Each reading is free with a suggested donation of $10. To learn more information please look on our website.


June Year-Round Program:

Dramaturgical Lobby Exhibitions

NBT will be curating three (3) exhibitions that will illuminate this season's theme Black To The Future. These exhibitions stem from the founder’s vision to create a complete theatrical experience. More information to come!




Dates: March 2018

Continuing NBT's annual commitment, during Women's History Month, NBT will be curating three (3) events that celebrate the impact Black women have had on the global society.  More information to come! 


TEER Spirit Awards Gala

A Celebration Dedicated to Our Founder

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Tenth Annual TEER Spirit Awards Gala will 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