Attending the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) for the first time was the equivalent of a kid’s first trip to Disney World. I was in total awe of the people, sights and sounds as I stood on the Holy Ground of Theater. In addition to the plethora of great theater that I saw at the NBTF in Winston-Salem, NC, I experienced a sense of family. Everyone I met shared a love of theater, either from the stage, back stage or in the audience.
It was a whirlwind experience! The National Black Theatre Festival is the grandfather of black theater! To many it sets the standard by which all other black theater is judged. I always wondered if this was an accurate or even fair comparison. I am talking about the quality of the work not the genre.
I had been told that I would see any and everyone that I hadn’t seen for years on stage or television and they were right! And even better-they were all personable. Very nice! Can you imagine meeting an actor that you’ve admired over the years and he or she is asking you what play you are going to see?
While I have to admit I have seen some great, quality urban theater. (Please! Traditional theater purists stop screaming!! There is room for us all!) The theater I witnessed last week was simply amazing! The National Black Theatre Festival is more than worth the trip. Put it on your calendar for 2017! You won’t be sorry!