13th Annual Shades of Black Theatre Festival this September

“The D…” cast photo (left to right): Perry Bell, Jr., Roman Bryant, Harold Lercius, Leonard Ledford III, Milton Jackson, Cameron Mitchell, Jared Dalton, Jimmie Hill.  “The D…” is written and directed by Shawn Whitsell and presented by the Destiny Theatre Experience, September 14th and 22nd at the Shades of Black Theatre Festival. (Photo by Jima Akhenjah-Weaver)

SistaStyle Productions and the Destiny Theatre Experience (DTE) present the 13th Shades of Black Theatre Festival at the Darkhorse Theater, September 4th through September 22nd, with full-length shows, an opening mixer, a Black Women In Film Showcase, workshops, a comedy show and other special events. The Shades of Black Theatre Festival provides a showcase of African American-themed theatre and a platform for both African American and non-African American actors, directors, producers, writers, and theatre enthusiasts to learn, network and enjoy quality theatre.

All Shades of Black events will be held at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209. Event information can be founded at darkhorsetheater.com and Facebook.com/shadestheatrefest. Ticket prices vary.

Here’s a chronological schedule of the 13th Annual Shades of Black Theatre Festival:

Tuesday, September 4th at 6:30 pm. The festival begins with a FREE Opening Networking Mixer. Come meet the actors and producers of the festival and mingle with attendees.

Friday, September 7th and Sunday, September 16th at 7:30 pm. LA BELLA NOIR NOIR (The Beautiful Black Black) is poetic performance art theatre, a one-man show that journeys through personal darkness while observing darkness in nature and advocating for the art… to provoke thought. Written and performed by Patriq James (Nobleman Productive). $20 Contact: nobleman78@yandex.com for more details.

Saturdays, September 8th, 15th and 22nd from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Theatre Workshops; donations accepted.

Saturday, September 8th and 15th, at 7:30 pm. Black Women In Film Celebration showcase and network event presented by SistaStyle Productions. Tickets $10. Contact: sistastyleproductions@gmail.com for details.

Sunday, September 9th and Saturday, September 15th at 3 p.m. Blackbird, played by Cameron Mitchell, a one man show surrounding black men in society raising the questions why do black men feel trapped, and are our methods of help effective. This story takes place in a zoo setting. The Zoo Keeper has decided to showcase a new exhibit known as the blackbird, actually a black man on display. The keeper treats him like just another animal, but as the story unfolds there is more happening with blackbird and the Keeper than appears on the surface. This is from the true story of Ota Benga, a Congolese pygmy showcased in the Bronx Zoo during September of 1906, many years after slavery ended. Blackbird is an original story written and produced by Cameron Mitchell. This crowd participating event will take you on a journey, diving into different mental health issues to raise awareness. Tickets $10. Contact: bookingcmitch@gmail.com for more.

Friday, September 14th & Saturday, September 22nd at 7:30 pm, The Destiny Theatre Experience presents encore performances of “The D…” Written and directed by DTE Founder/Artistic director, Shawn Whitsell, “The D…” (a reference to the male genitalia) is a journey through the high, lows, joys, pains and nuances of black manhood through the eyes of nine men with names all beginning with the letter “D” and with stories about topics all beginning with the letter as well: depression, detention, death, dehumanization, domestic violence, divorce, determination, destiny and devotion and more. Tickets $15 Email: destinytheatreexperience@@gmail.com for details.

Saturday, September 15th at 10 pm. Comedy Showcase, hosted by comedian Renard Hirsch, with local and regional comics. Donations Accepted.

Sunday, September 16th at 3 pm, Shackled Feet Dance presents…. Black boys and men express themselves and share their stories through dance, movement, and performance art. $10 Suggested Donation. Contact: cheojioke@hotmail.com for more.

Saturday, September 22nd at 10 pm. Dashikis & Daiquiris – A night of music, food, fellowship and cultural pride, hosted by Shawn Whitsell; donations accepted.