Red Summer
Sep
12
to Sep 15

Red Summer

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc., the longest running black theater in the United States, invites you to join them at their upcoming production, Red Summer, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the race riots of 1919 here in Knoxville September 12th-15th at the Bijou Theatre!

Red Summer is a drama based on the events that occurred right here in Knoxville, TN 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.  

After World War I formally ended in June of 1919, 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.” However, just 2 short months later around 2:30AM, Bertie Lindsay, a young white woman, was shot and killed in the bedroom of her Knoxville home.  Before dawn, Maurice Mays, a prominent black business owner, was arrested and charged with the crime.  

A lynch mob of about 5,000 looted the county jail (then located in Market Square) in search of Mays and an intense gun battle took place between the rioters and the residence of a predominantly black community.  In just a matter of hours, Knoxville saw its worst race riot, shattering city’s vision of being one of the most racially tolerant towns in the South.  

The production was written by Linda Parris-Bailey, directed by Leilani Chan, and is fully supported by the Roy Cockrum Foundation.  


Join The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. as they tell this incredibly important story-a story we cannot allow to die.  

“Forgetting is mighty dangerous.  Someone’s got to bear witness to the truth.”

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Gomela/To Return:  Movement of Our Mother Tongue
Jun
29
7:00 PM19:00

Gomela/To Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue

Gomela is based on hope, survival, courage and the resilience that exists in the face of oppression. It is about the heartbeat of a people that will never die, the culture and traditions that continue to evolve, grow and survive the test of time. It illuminates Place Matters— gentrification and the Right of Return of New Orleanians displaced after Katrina; and Black Lives Matter—the beauty and resilience of black people, past and present.

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30th Annual Youth Theatre Festival
Jun
21
9:00 AM09:00

30th Annual Youth Theatre Festival

Click the link below to register your children for our FREE 30th Annual Youth Theatre Festival!!!

Every year, we work to equip our youth, ages 5-18, with the inspiration, mentorship, and tools they need to thrive in the world of Arts & Culture. You don’t want your kiddos to miss this multi-track, multi-level theatre festival, featuring performances by Kuumba Watoto, Knoxville’s own Brazzy Book, Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, and many many more!!

If you would like to help out at the Youth Theatre Festival, please click the link below to submit a volunteer application to kisha@carpetbagtheatre.org by no later than midnight on June 18th.

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