Red Summer
Sep
19
to Sep 22

Red Summer

WWI ended in 1919. Black men who served felt they deserved the full rights of citizenship and higher social status in return for their patriotic service. Meanwhile, lunch mobs murdered 78 African-Americans, ten of whom were veterans. East Tennessee was a place where a trade group proclaimed: “There are no Ku Klux Klan outrages here. We are a distinct and peculiar people.” Red Summer is a drama based on events that occurred during the racially charged Summer of 1919. It tells the story of a model African American community unable to escape the horrors of mob violence. “In the early hours of Saturday morning, August 30, 1919, a young white woman, Bertie Lindsay, was shot and killed in the bedroom of her home. Before dawn, a black man had been arrested and charged with the crime.


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2018 International Black Theatre Summit
Sep
26
to Sep 29

2018 International Black Theatre Summit

We are pleased to announce that we will be presenting at the 2018 International Black Theatre Summit this year. The 2018 International Black Theatre Summit, “Breaking New Ground Where We Stand,” will be held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH September 26-29, 2018. The summit is a reconvening and celebration of legendary playwright, August Wilson’s 1998 “On Golden Pond” black theatre summit which originally convened at Dartmouth to assess the state of black theatre funding, resources and opportunities. Due to various creative and business intersections throughout the entertainment industry, the 2018 reconvening will include entertainment industry insiders and scholar-artist practitioners in theatre, film, television and media. Our goal is to maintain and establish more intentional strategies and professional networks, programs and coalitions that capitalize on the links between theatre, film, television and related media platforms with domestic and international connections. The network will better support and sustain black artists, cultural producers and audiences thereby providing models for cross-cultural collaborations.

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Ce Nitram Sacul
Sep
13
to Sep 16

Ce Nitram Sacul

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. presents, “Ce Nitram Sacul”, a play about a woman in crisis. Disturbed by the violence and insensitivity around her, she turns to her “Womantor”, her ancestral touchstone of advice. The unusual circumstance is that her Womantor has been dead for more than twelve years.

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Between a Ballad and a Blues at Tennessee Arts Academy
Jul
11
11:30 AM11:30

Between a Ballad and a Blues at Tennessee Arts Academy

Carpetbag Theatre takes Between a Ballad and a Blues to Nashville for the 2018 Tennessee Arts Academy. Between a Ballad and a Blues chronicles the life and work of the African-American-Appalachian Renaissance man Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong and his musical partners, Ted Bogan and Carl Martin. Together, the three men formed one of the most famous string-band groups in the history of American music. As a group and as solo artists, Armstrong, Bogan, and Martin toured the globe sharing string band music with the world and planting the seeds for other American music forms—including country and blues. The play centers on the character of Howard Armstrong and spans his seven-decade musical career. Armstrong narrates the tale, which is augmented with stories and songs from Bogan and Martin. The excerpt that will be performed during TAA is designed for young audiences and features Bert Tanner as Armstrong, music by Sean McCullough, and stories by the playwright Linda Parris-Bailey.

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2018 Arts & Arts Education Conference
Jun
18
4:30 PM16:30

2018 Arts & Arts Education Conference

The conference will bring together arts administrators, educators and artists for a full two days of learning and sharing around the theme of Design Thinking, an approach that can be used in all industries to consider and resolve a variety of issues. Professional development will include best practices, strategies in arts management and education, lesson demonstrations, collaborative work, networking and more.

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Mar
29
to Apr 1

Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens

  • The Ula Love Doughty Carousel Theatre (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc.'s production of Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens is the story of a little known facet of American History. Filled with vivid images, captivating stories and harmonious song, "Cowgirls" brings to life seven of the most colorful Black women to emerge from the American West. The play, written by CBT's Executive/Artistic Director Lina Parris-Bailey is an imaginative dramatization of the lives of: Mary Fields (affectionately known as Black Mary), Biddy Mason (Grandma Mason), sculptress Edmonia Lewis (Little Wildfire), Mary Ellen Pleasant (Mammy Pleasant) of underground railroad fame, and Julia Boulette (fondly remembered as the Queen of Virgina City).

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Nothin' Nice
Jan
25
to Jan 27

Nothin' Nice

 Photography Credit: Boyd Shot Images

Photography Credit: Boyd Shot Images

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.

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Parris Bennett Digital Story House Grand Opening
Sep
24
3:00 PM15:00

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.

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Parris Bennett Digital Story House Grand Opening
Sep
23
3:00 PM15:00

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.

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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.

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Jun
23
2:30 PM14:30

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.

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Jun
16
9:00 AM09:00

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.

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May
21
7:30 PM19:30

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. 

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May
19
7:30 PM19:30

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. 

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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.

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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.

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Feb
26
4:00 PM16:00

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.

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Feb
25
7:30 PM19:30

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.

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Feb
24
7:30 PM19:30

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.

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Feb
23
7:30 PM19:30

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.

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Feb
2
7:30 PM19:30

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.

 

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Jan
16
6:00 PM18:00

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. 

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Jan
11
6:00 PM18:00

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.

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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.

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