news + updates
It’s time to CELEBRATE! The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. is turning 50!!! SAVE THE DATE!! OCTOBER 19, 2019. Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter to stay connected.
Steven Sapp & Mildred Ruiz-Sapp are from UNIVERSES which is a national Ensemble Theater Company, of multi-disciplined writers and performers of color, who fuse theater, poetry, dance, jazz, hip hop, politics, down home blues and Spanish boleros to create moving, challenging and entertaining works for the stage. The group breaks the traditional theatrical bounds to create its own brand of theater. Get Tickets Now
SWOPERA: A Spoken Word Opera tells a contemporary story of gentrification, one family's efforts to save their business in light of changing community dynamics, and finding unexpected leadership in the youngest member of the family, Lem. The text is delivered in spoken word poetry and rhyme, accompanied by elements of Hip-Hop and Soul. Created by the CBT Ensemble and emerging community artists. SWOPERA, coming this April, is the next production in Carpetbag's 50th Anniversary Celebration, Directed by Steven Sapp of UNIVERSES and fully supported by the Roy Cockrum Foundation. Get Tickets Now
Our Youth Theatre Spring Break Camp is a theatre-centered immersive arts program for middle and high-school students 13-17 years old who demonstrate a concentrated interest in the performing arts. The program will cover many major facets of theatre production including playwriting, acting, stage design, prop design, and costuming. Register your child TODAY!
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.
Meet Ebony Golden, director for our upcoming play, Ce Nitram Sacul. Golden collaborates with community members, cultural institutions, and creatives to co-create and stage site-specific rituals and live art installations that profoundly explore the complexities of freedom in the time of now.
The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. is searching for new staff. The Development Director will be responsible for designing, implementing, and managing all fundraising activities including annual giving, endowment, and capital campaigns, special projects, fundraising for the continuation of new staff positions, and other related solicitation.
As we roll into our 50th year anniversary in 2019, we celebrate our vision through small things like t-shirts and new merchandise. We'd love for you to celebrate with us. Pre-order your t-shirt today.
This year marked the 29th Year of our annual Youth Theatre Festival. We were so blown away by the performances of groups such as Kuumba Watoto, Knoxville Children's Theatre, Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble, and individual youth artists such as Adun Henry, Denzel, The Dynamic Ray, Nayeema Hoffman, and Brooklyn.
Every Summer since 1989, we have worked closely with community artists and community organizations to provide quality theatre arts education that encourages and advises young people ages 5 - 18 on how to pursue viable and equitable careers in theatre and theatre technology.
Harry Bryce is guest director for our upcoming production, Nothin' Nice. Bryce has developed visionary works as a director, choreographer, writer, and arts educator for over thirty years. He has led dance companies in Richmond, VA and Atlanta, GA where his original concert ballet, Where the Cane Breaks: Moments in the Life of Harriet Tubman performed to sell-out crowds and received national and critical acclaim at the National Black Arts Festival.
SWOPERA: A Spoken Word Opera is the next production in Carpbetbag Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebration. Swopera tells a contemporary story of gentrification, one family's efforts to save their business, Lowell’s Soulfood Cafe, in light of changing community dynamics, and finding unexpected leadership in the youngest member of the family, Lem. The text is delivered in spoken word poetry and rhyme, accompanied by elements of hip-hop and soul. Get Tickets Now
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.
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.