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DC Black Theatre Festival hosts international and local talent

On August 8, 2010

On Saturday July 31, the DC Black Theatre Festival kicked off in star-studded fashion as excited guests walked the red carpet leading into Cramton Auditorium at Howard University. The opening featured a VIP gala and an inspirational performance of "Black Angels over Tuskegee" written by Layon Gray. Based on true events, "Angels" explores the struggle and brotherhood of the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Force.

"This is a play that every Black boy should see," said Karen James. James lives in Alexandria, Va. and heard about the festival a few days before.

The week-long festival (August 1 - August 8) celebrates extraordinary stories told by people from around the globe of African decent. The festival was the brain child of a group of local black theatre enthusiasts who saw the need for the exposure for black theatre artists, directors, and to bring theatre artists together. Writer, playwright, and The Drama Department founder Glenn Alan called together a group of close friends involved in theatre and incredibly they were able to pull all the pieces together in a little over three months.

"We have a great team," Allan beamed.

The festival features 70 invigorating, thought provoking, humorous, and stimulating scheduled theatrical performances from local DC, New York, South Africa, and many other parts of the world.

Kim Bey the director of the DC Black Theatre Festival met Allan on the DC theatre scene when she worked as a stage manager for one of Glen Allan's productions a few years ago. Bey said that the weekend will be stacked with performances, because many of the plays will run on a matinee schedule.

This weekend, Bey is set to perform in "For Colored Girls" directed by Charneice Fox on The Paul Robeson Stage at Mount Vernon Place UMC.

"It doesn't matter if you're a Tyler Perry or David E. Talbert fan or you like August Wilson and Len Nottage. This festival has something for everyone," Allan said.

Bey encourages anyone who wants to get involved or is interested in catching any of the plays this weekend to log onto the website

"Look at the magnitude of this event. This has never been done in DC," Bey said. "This is a chance to be a part of history.

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