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Carpetbag Theatre Presents: Progress Theater's The Burnin'

  • 4th United Presbyterian Church 1323 North Broadway Knoxville, TN, 37917 United States (map)

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.