AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL
Music - Dance - Theatre - Visual Arts - Film
This season of An Appalachian Summer Festival 2020 will be presented online. Click here for the complete schedule and details. >
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The celebrated North Carolina Black Repertory Company returns by popular demand this summer with its production of Plenty of Time, following the romance between an unlikely pair, a debutante from an elite black family and a working-class young man with dreams of changing the world. Over the course of their forty-three-years, the relationship transforms and grows in tandem with the constant social and political change from 1968 to 2011.
“The script weaves its plot developments and revelations skillfully.” – Anita Gates, The New York Times
“Foster rises to the challenges of the two-hander form with remarkable dexterity…Alexander directs with a sure hand, sensitively blending the comic and somber elements of the script.” – Ethan Kanfer, Show Business
“A skillfully written and impeccably acted work that has enough going for it to make a visit to Foster’s imaginary Martha’s Vineyard worthwhile.” – Joel Benjamin, Theatre Scene
John Shévin Foster is a playwright, director and producer. An August Wilson scholar, he holds a BA in Dramatic Studies and a BS in Education from Shaw University, an MA and PhD in theatre from New York University, with additional study and certification from the University of Leeds, London. Professionally, he has served as Artistic Director of the Department of Dramatic Studies at Shaw University, for eight years as the Director of Theatre at Virginia State University, visiting professor of theatre at NYU, Education Manager and Producer at BAM/Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Founding Artistic Director of NYC Rep/New York City Repertory Theatre. His work centers on accurate and honest portrayals of African American life. Plenty of Time was a finalist in the New Harmony National Playwriting Competition. It premiered at Primary Stages, was a featured show at the National Black Theatre Festival, and has received regional premiers in Dayton Ohio (The Schuster Center) and in Denver, Co.
A native of New Orleans, Jackie Alexander is an award winning actor, writer, producer, director, former Artistic Director of The Billie Holiday Theatre in New York, and current Artistic Director of The North Carolina Black Repertory Theatre, producers of The National Black Theatre Festival. His debut novel, Our Daily Bread, was published by Turner Publishing in the fall of 2012. His debut feature film Joy was awarded Best Feature Film by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, and also earned Best Actor and Best Screenplay honors for Jackie on the festival circuit. Stage directing credits include the world premieres of his critically acclaimed plays Brothers from the Bottom, The High Priestess of Dark Alley, The Legend of Buster Neal, The Right Reverend Dupree in Exile, The Desire, and Birthright. Additional directing credits include Jelly's Last Jam by George Wolfe (New Orleans' Big Easy Award Winner for Best Musical 2017), Lemon Meringue Façade by Ted Lange, Losing The Light, The Waiting Room by Tony nominee Samm-Art Williams, The Resurrection of Alice, Finding Home, Fati’s Last Dance, video direction for the world premiere of Judi Ann Mason’s multi-media play Storm Stories—True Stories From Hurricane Katrina, and world premieres of The Sting of White Roses by Angelica Cheri, Maid’s Door by Cheryl L. Davis (Seven AUDELCO Awards including Best Play), Plenty of Time by John Shévin Foster, and Matisse’s Self Portrait by Charles Mee. A short list of stage acting credits include: Plenty of Time, Acted Within Proper Departmental Procedure, Losing The Light, Imperfection Flawed, The Death of Bessie Smith, Romance, Revolution, & War, Tell Pharaoh, The Author’s Voice, which he produced on Theatre Row, and the originating role of "Prophet Solomon Jones" in Raisin' Hell, a musical premiere by Motown legend William "Smokey" Robinson. Jackie has been featured on two recordings, Spoken Melodies and 1999's critically and socially acclaimed The Price of Freedom-The Amadou Project, both produced by the late jazz great Weldon Irvine. The OBIE and AUDELCO Award-winning Billie Holiday Theatre in New York devoted its entire 2010-2011 season to Jackie’s work; commissioning him to write three new plays and making him the only playwright in the storied history of the theatre to receive that honor. In 2018, the Black Theatre Network (BTN) honored Jackie with the Presidential Pathfinder Award at its yearly conference in Memphis, Tennessee. The award is presented to an artist or an institution that illuminates a path to innovations and new concepts in Black Theatre. For more information, please visit www.jackiealexanderproductions.com.
Suzette Azariah Gunn is a multicultural actress from New York. Her credits include: Theatre: The Mountaintop (Heritage Theater UVA); Twelfth Night, Endgame (Baltimore Center Stage); Paradox of the Urban Cliché (Labyrinth Theater Company); Funnyhouse of a Negro (Classical Theatre of Harlem); American Maul (Culture Project); Black Flag (59 East 59th); Velvet Rope (Planet Connections); Trouble in Mind (PlayMakers Repertory) The High Priestess of Dark Alley (North Carolina Black Repertory Company); Film/TV: 17 Bridges, The Outside Story, Madeline's Madeline, Sunset, The Depths, Five Nights in Maine, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Roadie, Chicago PD, Believe, The Good Fight, Law & Order (Criminal Intent, SVU). Honors: 2018 Los Angeles Film Award, Best Ensemble; Golden Door International Film Festival, Best Lead Actress (Nominated); NBC Diversity Showcase. Education: BFA, Howard University, Oxford Certified. For more information, please visit suzettegunn.com
The North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NCBRC), North Carolina's only professional black theatre company, exposes diverse audiences to classics and new works of African-American drama, while nurturing the talents of future performers through its Teen Theatre Ensemble program. NCBRC is universally recognized for its international outreach program, The National Black Theatre Festival ® (NBTF). Presented every odd numbered year, the festival hosts upwards of 120 performances, attracts over 65,000 visitors to Winston-Salem, and has contributed approximately $220 million dollars to the Winston-Salem economy since its inception in 1989.
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