Jan
25
to Jan 27

Nothin' Nice

Carpetbag Theatre, Inc.

Nothin’ Nice is the story of a young man forced to confront issues of environmental racism and its impact on his family and community. Raised in the “Lower Nine” or “Ninth Ward”, a community ravaged by toxicity, Lonewolf faces the destruction of the women in his life and discovers his own ability to accept the challenge of leadership. With the guidance of his uncle, a former Civil Right activist; his mother, who is battling cancer; and the young woman who is the mother of his child, Lonewolf learns to accept his role as a Generation X freedom fighter. Musical references allude to the Civil Rights Movement.

This production is part of an original series that has been funded by the Roy Cockrum Foundation in celebration of our 50th Anniversary in 2019; a foundation which enables theaters to reach beyond their normal scope of activities and undertake ambitious and creative productions.

View Event →

Parris Bennett Digital Story House Grand Opening
Sep
24
3:00pm 3:00pm

Parris Bennett Digital Story House Grand Opening

  • Parris Bennett Digital Story House (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Come and join the Carpetbag Theatre as we celebrate the Grand Opening of our Parris Bennett Digital Storytelling House. The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. has gathered, preserved and performed community stories nationally and internationally. Over 10 years ago, Linda wanted to expand our methodology for gathering and preserving community stories, so she took several ensemble members to be CBT's first digital storytelling trainers.

View Event →
Parris Bennett Digital Story House Grand Opening
Sep
23
3:00pm 3:00pm

Parris Bennett Digital Story House Grand Opening

  • Parris Bennett Digital Storytelling House (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Come and join the Carpetbag Theatre as we celebrate the Grand Opening of our Parris Bennett Digital Storytelling House. The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. has gathered, preserved and performed community stories nationally and internationally. Over 10 years ago, Linda wanted to expand our methodology for gathering and preserving community stories, so she took several ensemble members to be CBT's first digital storytelling trainers.

View Event →
Jul
11
to Jul 25

National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation

Linda Parris-Bailey will be a returning faculty member for the National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation to be held in Minneapolis, MN. The National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation was conceived in response to the dearth of professional opportunities for directors in the U.S., particularly directors of color and women, and to the lack of in-depth ensemble training in various forms for future aesthetics. As a recognized leader in the field, Linda will give a perspective of African American directing and ensemble practices that are often overlooked when discussing the history and methods of ensemble creation and directing.

View Event →
Jun
23
2:30pm 2:30pm

Network of Ensemble Theaters National Gathering and Symposium Past Forward

Carpetbag Theater's Executive/Artistic Director Linda Parris-Bailey will represent CBT at the Network of Ensemble Theater's National Gathering and Symposium Past Forward. A champion of ensemble theater and a leader in the field, she will co-facilitate a plenary about the history and legacy of the ensemble movement and history of the Network of Ensemble Theaters.

View Event →
Jun
16
9:00am 9:00am

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Presents: Youth Theatre Festival 2017

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Presents: Youth Theatre Festival 2017, a festival of young people performing for young people, with the hopes that they will be inspired to know that they can do it too. The festival will feature performances and classes from Knoxville's brightest youth artists. Registration will begin at 9:00 AM with performances and workshops lasting from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM.

The event is free, and if you would like your youth group to attend, please call and reserve your space by calling 865-544-0447.

View Event →
May
21
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Presets: Cultural Odyssey's Fully Awake & Facing Seventy: Heaven Betta Bea Honky Tonk!

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Presents: Cultural Odyssey's Fully Awake & Facing Seventy: Heaven Betta Bea Honky Tonk! May 19 and 21 7:30 PM at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by visiting KnoxTix.com.

“FULLY AWAKE & FACING SEVENTY: HEAVEN BETTA BEA HONKY TONK!” is written and performed by RHODESSA JONES with musical direction and performance by IDRIS ACKAMOOR.  It is an evening of cabaret with live music celebrating Rhodessa Jones becoming an official senior citizen. FULLY AWAKE poses the question, “Can the artist look back at her life as a way of ‘seeing’ into the future?” It is also a treatise on the Baby Boom Generation confronting their last years with panache, style, humor and yoga! Rhodessa confronts the issue of aging “full on” with insight, a sense of progressive politics, banter, pathos, empathy and sharp-edged humor addressing the issue of growing old with dignity and security. FULLY AWAKE is for audiences of all ages since in one-way or another since “we are all FACING SEVENTY!”  FULLY AWAKE completes a trio of full-length solo autobiographical works of Ms. Jones’ almost half-century career as a professional artist and community activist.

Based in San Francisco, California, Cultural Odyssey's mission is to support the artistic work and vision of Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor, as well as an ancillary group of emerging and established performing artists. To implement its mission, Cultural Odyssey locally premieres the original productions of Jones & Ackamoor, presents the Cultural Odyssey Performance Series, offers free and low cost technical assistance to artists and small arts organizations, and conducts residencies and national and international tours. As well, it operates a community-based program entitled, The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women that serves female inmates, ex-inmates, HIV positive women, and female community participants. In addition, the company conducts jazz programming spearheaded by Idris Ackamoor & THE PYRAMIDS and the Music is the Healing Force of the Universe Community Orchestra.

Cultural Odyssey was founded by Idris Ackamoor, Executive/Co-Artistic Director, in 1979 and joined by Rhodessa Jones, Co-Artistic Director, in 1983. Idris founded Cultural Odyssey after traveling to Africa and observing the interdisciplinary nature of African artistic culture. Also of note was the connection African artists had with their community. His early vision was to found an organization that combined music, theater and dance into a unified whole that was responsive and influential to the needs of the community.

Idris Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones have developed a variety of original productions that demonstrate their vision of "Art as Social Activism." They have collaborated with nationally renowned artists such as choreographer Bill T. Jones, the late artist Keith Haring, writers Pearl Cleage, Ntozake Shange, and Eve Ensler, and tenor saxophonists Chico Freeman. Having toured in the United States, Africa, Japan, the Caribbean, and Europe regularly for thirty five years, Cultural Odyssey also continues to establish strong artistic roots and community involvement in San Francisco by showcasing their productions. 

View Event →
May
19
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Presents: Cultural Odyssey's “FULLY AWAKE & FACING SEVENTY: HEAVEN BETTA BEA HONKY TONK!

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Presents: Cultural Odyssey's Fully Awake & Facing Seventy: Heaven Betta Bea Honky Tonk! May 19 and 21 7:30 PM at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by visiting KnoxTix.com.

“FULLY AWAKE & FACING SEVENTY: HEAVEN BETTA BEA HONKY TONK!” is written and performed by RHODESSA JONES with musical direction and performance by IDRIS ACKAMOOR.  It is an evening of cabaret with live music celebrating Rhodessa Jones becoming an official senior citizen. FULLY AWAKE poses the question, “Can the artist look back at her life as a way of ‘seeing’ into the future?” It is also a treatise on the Baby Boom Generation confronting their last years with panache, style, humor and yoga! Rhodessa confronts the issue of aging “full on” with insight, a sense of progressive politics, banter, pathos, empathy and sharp-edged humor addressing the issue of growing old with dignity and security. FULLY AWAKE is for audiences of all ages since in one-way or another since “we are all FACING SEVENTY!”  FULLY AWAKE completes a trio of full-length solo autobiographical works of Ms. Jones’ almost half-century career as a professional artist and community activist.

Based in San Francisco, California, Cultural Odyssey's mission is to support the artistic work and vision of Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor, as well as an ancillary group of emerging and established performing artists. To implement its mission, Cultural Odyssey locally premieres the original productions of Jones & Ackamoor, presents the Cultural Odyssey Performance Series, offers free and low cost technical assistance to artists and small arts organizations, and conducts residencies and national and international tours. As well, it operates a community-based program entitled, The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women that serves female inmates, ex-inmates, HIV positive women, and female community participants. In addition, the company conducts jazz programming spearheaded by Idris Ackamoor & THE PYRAMIDS and the Music is the Healing Force of the Universe Community Orchestra.

Cultural Odyssey was founded by Idris Ackamoor, Executive/Co-Artistic Director, in 1979 and joined by Rhodessa Jones, Co-Artistic Director, in 1983. Idris founded Cultural Odyssey after traveling to Africa and observing the interdisciplinary nature of African artistic culture. Also of note was the connection African artists had with their community. His early vision was to found an organization that combined music, theater and dance into a unified whole that was responsive and influential to the needs of the community.

Idris Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones have developed a variety of original productions that demonstrate their vision of "Art as Social Activism." They have collaborated with nationally renowned artists such as choreographer Bill T. Jones, the late artist Keith Haring, writers Pearl Cleage, Ntozake Shange, and Eve Ensler, and tenor saxophonists Chico Freeman. Having toured in the United States, Africa, Japan, the Caribbean, and Europe regularly for thirty five years, Cultural Odyssey also continues to establish strong artistic roots and community involvement in San Francisco by showcasing their productions. 

View Event →
Mar
10
to Mar 12

Art in the Service of Understanding: New Perspectives from Artists and the Military Community

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. will participate in Art in the Service of Understanding convened by the New England Foundation for the Arts. This conference will bring together key stake holders to assess the impact of creativity to build bridges between the military and civilian experiences and improve well-being for individuals and community. This convening will bring together artists, researchers, healthcare experts, military personnel, and policy leaders to discuss best practices, lessons learned, and share information.

View Event →
Mar
6
to Mar 8

Speed Killed My Cousin in residence at Working Narratives, Wilmington, NC

The Speed Killed My Cousin will be in residence at Working Narratives in Wilmington, North Carolina. More information will be forthcoming.

Speed Killed My Cousin is the story of a young African-American female veteran of the Iraq war and her struggle with "Moral Injury", Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). A third generation soldier, the central character courts death by vehicular suicide.

View Event →
Feb
26
4:00pm 4:00pm

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc.'s 50th Anniversary Celebration Series: Between a Ballad and a Blues

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. 50th Anniversary Series is a six part series remounting the original works of The Carpetbag Theatre as fully produced performances at local Knoxville and Maryville venues. The performances, made possible by generous support from The Roy Cockrum Foundation, will take place over the course of the three years leading up to the company's 50th Anniversary Celebration (2017, 2018, 2019) with two productions per year. CBT will invite former ensemle members who have remained in the professional field to return as guest artists and directors of the project. You can purchase tickets at the Clayton Center Box Office.

View Event →
Feb
25
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc.'s 50th Anniversary Celebration Series: Between a Ballad and a Blues

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. 50th Anniversary Celebration Series is a six part series remounting the original works of The Carpetbag Theatre as fully produced performances at local Knoxville and Maryville venues. The performances, made possible by generous support from The Roy Cockrum Foundation, will take place over the course of the three years leading up to the company's 50th Anniversary Celebration (2017, 2018, 2019) with two productions per year. CBT will invite former ensemle members who have remained in the professional field to return as guest artists and directors of the project. You can purchase tickets at the Clayton Center Box Office.

View Event →
Feb
24
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc.'s 50th Anniversary Celebration Series: Between a Ballad and a Blues

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. 50th Anniversary Celebration Series is a six part series remounting the original works of The Carpetbag Theatre as fully produced performances at local Knoxville and Maryville venues. The performances, made possible by generous support from The Roy Cockrum Foundation, will take place over the course of the three years leading up to the company's 50th Anniversary Celebration (2017, 2018, 2019) with two productions per year. CBT will invite former ensemle members who have remained in the professional field to return as guest artists and directors of the project. You can purchase tickets at the Clayton Center Box Office.

View Event →
Feb
23
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc's 50th Anniversary Celebration Series: Between a Ballad and a Blues

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. 50th Anniversary Celebration Series is a six part series remounting the original works of The Carpetbag Theatre as fully produced performances at local Knoxville and Maryville venues. The performances, made possible by generous support from The Roy Cockrum Foundation, will take place over the course of the three years leading up to the company's 50th Anniversary Celebration (2017, 2018, 2019) with two productions per year. CBT will invite former ensemle members who have remained in the professional field to return as guest artists and directors of the project. You can purchase tickets at the Clayton Center Box Office.

View Event →
Feb
2
7:30pm 7:30pm

Speed Killed My Cousin at R&R Arts Festival: From Recovery to Reintegration

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. will present their production of Speed Killed My Cousin at the R&R Arts Festival: From Recovery to Reintegration 7:30 pm February 2 at the University of South Florida Theater.  Speed Killed My Cousin is an original play about an African American woman soldier who returns from Iraq and struggles with PTSD, Moral Injury, the issues of Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and her family's history with vehicular suicide. Speed will open up the festival that is a part of the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military.

 

View Event →
Jan
16
6:00pm 6:00pm

The Carpetbag Theatre Ensemble Celebrates the Life of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Carpetbag Theatre Ensemble will join the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Choir and Knoxville Symphony for A Night with the Arts at the Historic Tennessee Theater. Come and join the us and the MLK Commemorative Commission of Knoxville as we remember the live and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through music, theatre, dance and poetry. This event is free and open to the public. 

View Event →
Jan
11
6:00pm 6:00pm

The Carpetbag Theatre Singers performs at Folk@Fourth

The Carpetbag Theatre Singers will perform at Folk@Fourth. Now in its 5th season, Folk@Fourth is a winter folk concert series that takes place in the fellowship hall of Fourth United Presbyterian Church. The event is $10 which includes a home cooked meal, and entertainment from Knoxville's folk music community.

View Event →
Speed Killed My Cousin at Working Narratives
Oct
31
to Nov 7

Speed Killed My Cousin at Working Narratives

The Speed Killed My Cousin tour will be stopping at Working Narratives as a part of their performance series. More information will be forthcoming.

Speed Killed My Cousin is the story of a young African-American female veteran of the Iraq war and her struggle with "Moral Injury", Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). A third generation soldier, the central character courts death by vehicular suicide. "Speed" explores multiple issues related to war including the history and otherness of African-Americans in the military, and the experiences of women in combat. Memories and flashbacks unfold before her, and in her rear-view mirror, as she drives. It is a contemporary story of survival and coping in a confusing and damaging world. Ultimately she must decide whether to let go of the wheel or to choose life.

View Event →
Between A Ballad and a Blues at the Louie Bluie Festival
Sep
24
12:00pm12:00pm

Between A Ballad and a Blues at the Louie Bluie Festival

Carpetbag Theatre brings Between a Ballad and a Blues to the 2016 Louie Bluie Festival. For more information about the festival and festival schedule visit the Louie Bluie Festival. 

Between a Ballad and a Blues, chronicles the life and work of African American Appalachian renaissance man Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong and his musical partner, Carl Martin and Ted Bogan. Together they formed one of the most famous string-band groups in the history of American music.

View Event →
Carpetbag Theatre Presents: Progress Theater's The Burnin'
Aug
20
7:00pm 7:00pm

Carpetbag Theatre Presents: Progress Theater's The Burnin'

Join us for our Carpetbag Theatre Presents series as we present Progress Theaters the Burnin' 7 pm August 19 and 20th at The Maples. You can get tickets online at Knoxtix or at the door, if available, for $20.

The Burnin’ is a NeoSpiritual inspired by two major U.S. nightclub tragedies; the Rhythm Night Club Fire of Natchez, MI (1940) and the E2 Club Stampede of Chicago, IL (2003). It’s 1940 in the fictional City of Antebellum. As the African American community prepares for the return of hometown hero Band Man, scheduled to play at the local juke, the White community organizes it’s Annual Pilgrimage Pageant; a celebration of Southern hierarchy as it was “Before the War.” Fast forward 75 years and post-Great Migration urban residents in the metropolis of Sittay gather to critique the policies and politics behind contemporary headlines at a spoken word/hip hop spot. When disaster strikes in both spaces and places, all involved are forced to examine the meaning of community, agency and identity in the blink of an eye. As history repeats itself, 

 

View Event →
Carpetbag Theatere Presents: Progress Theater's The Burnin!
Aug
19
7:00pm 7:00pm

Carpetbag Theatere Presents: Progress Theater's The Burnin!

Join us for our Carpetbag Theatre Presents series as we present Progress Theaters the Burnin' 7 pm August 19 and 20th at The Maples. You can get tickets online for $15 at Knoxtix or at the door, if available, for $20.

The Burnin’ is a NeoSpiritual inspired by two major U.S. nightclub tragedies; the Rhythm Night Club Fire of Natchez, MI (1940) and the E2 Club Stampede of Chicago, IL (2003). It’s 1940 in the fictional City of Antebellum. As the African American community prepares for the return of hometown hero Band Man, scheduled to play at the local juke, the White community organizes it’s Annual Pilgrimage Pageant; a celebration of Southern hierarchy as it was “Before the War.” Fast forward 75 years and post-Great Migration urban residents in the metropolis of Sittay gather to critique the policies and politics behind contemporary headlines at a spoken word/hip hop spot. When disaster strikes in both spaces and places, all involved are forced to examine the meaning of community, agency and identity in the blink of an eye. As history repeats itself,

The Burnin’ straddles time between these two worlds, examining the possibility that the more things change, the more they stay the same and traces how we receive and redefine legacies of identity to accommodate our contemporary realities. Re-imagining and re-examining these American tragedies, The Burnin’ invites audiences to look deeper into personal and communal definitions of freedom, empowerment and the course of “progress” we all have the power to chart.
 

View Event →
Speed Killed My Cousin at the Orlando Museum of Art
Jan
29
7:30pm 7:30pm

Speed Killed My Cousin at the Orlando Museum of Art

On January 29th at 7:30 Speed Killed My Cousin will be performed at the Orlando Museum of Art in conjunction with The Alternate Roots Regional Gathering in partnership with the Zora Neal Hurston Festival. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Alternate Roots or at the door the night of the performance.

Speed Killed My Cousin is the story of a young, African American woman veteran of the Iraq War and her struggle with moral injury and post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A third generation soldier, the central character courts death by vehicular suicide. Speed explores multiple issues related to war, including the history and otherness of African Americans in the military, and the experiences of women in combat. The secrets that have never been revealed by veterans of the Vietnam War keep those veterans haunted and unhealed. Can we afford a new generation of soldiers that cannot heal?

 

View Event →
Nov
12
to Nov 14

Veterans In Society Conference

Carpetbag Theatre Inc. will be presenting a reading of their newest work "Speed Killed My Cousin" at the Veterans in Society conference that will be taking place in Roanoke, Virginia. 

The Veterans in Society conference is an interdisciplinary event. As we noted last year, the topic of veterans’ reintegration into society has been challenging for governments and civilian society. Reintegration and reconciliation are intimately linked. This conference is hosted by the Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society (CSRS), the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention (CPSVP), the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, the Race and Public Policy Center, and the Virginia Tech Center for the Arts, all at Virginia Tech. For more information click here.

View Event →
International Digital Storytelling Festival
Sep
25
to Sep 27

International Digital Storytelling Festival

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. will be presenting how they use digital storytelling in their community engagement work with veterans through our Creative Arts Reintegration Project. The sixth annual International Digital Storytelling Conference is a gathering of academics and practitioners who use digital storytelling as a participatory media practice. For more information please click here.

View Event →
National Black Theater Festival
Aug
2
to Aug 5

National Black Theater Festival

Carpetbag Theatre Inc. will be attending the National Black Theater Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The National Black Theater Festival will be honoring The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. with its Theater Longevity Award for CBT's long standing commitment to the progression of Black Theater. For more information, click here.

View Event →