The New Black Fest at The Lark
Artistic Director: Keith Josef Adkins
Playwrights: Jocelyn Bioh, Eric Micha Holmes, Lenelle Moïse, NSangou Njikam & Lisa Rosetta Strum
Associate Producer: Marie Cisco
A week-long festival of celebrating, advocating, and showcasing diverse and provocative work in a festival of Black theater artists from throughout the Diaspora.
Monday, March 14 @7pm
Kick Off Panel: THE WHITE GAZE, THE TRUTH GAZE AND A NEW REVOLUTION
Moderated by Nikkole Salter
Panelists: Kia Corthron, Dorian Missick and Mychal Denzel Smith
Tuesday, March 15 @7pm
SHE GON’ LEARN
by Lisa Rosetta Strum
With old school wisdom, her childhood, a string of bad dates, and a one night stand gone wrong with a smooth talking would be ex-boyfriend, Lisa navigates her personal mishaps with poetry, comedy and poignancy on her journey to discover self-love.
Wednesday, March 16 @7pm
by Lenelle Moïse
Nestled in small-town Vermont, Merit follows Mona, the only student of color (and Southerner) in a prestigious MFA Fiction program. When she befriends distinguished professor Dr. Sive, they struggle to strike a balance between passion and professionalism, power and trust.
Thursday, March 17 @7pm
PORNPLAY; or BLESSED BE THE MEEK
by Eric Micha Holmes
Pornplay; or Blessed Be the Meek is a dark, comedic plantation drama about how the legacy of slavery plays into our sexual desires and online-avatars. The story centers around the hiring of Austin, a Black veteran, by the mysterious porn mogul, Bob 3, to build a swimming pool for his renovated estate in Virginia. When Austin meets Bob 3’s pornstar wife, Sephie, and Jackie, her gender-fluid son, their lives, races and desires intersect to reveal the horrifying truths of sex, history, and power.
Friday, March 18 @7pm
SCHOOL GIRLS; or THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY
by Jocelyn Bioh
Inspired from actual events, School Girls is set at the prestigious Aburi Girls Boarding School and tells the story of Paulina, the most popular (mean) girl in school, and Ericka, the new girl with a unique background. Stakes run high as Paulina and Ericka face off in a battle of wits and beauty as they compete to be named Miss Ghana 1985.
Saturday, March 19 @7pm
WHEN WE LEFT
by NSangou Njikam
In the near-future, a secret organization puts out a call to Black Americans: leave America and return to Africa. This extraordinary call promises jobs, housing and a better way of life. But is it real? When We Left follows two members of Congress, two cousins in the inner city, a pair of Black advertising executives, and an interracial, lesbian Black Lives Matter couple as they tackle perhaps the most monumental issue they will ever face: is the American dream for Black people?
Talkbacks will follow each reading. A reception will follow the panel and the final reading on March 19.
More about Jocelyn BiohSchool girls; or The African Mean Girls PlaySchool girls; or The African Mean Girls Play
More about NSangou NjikamThe New Black Fest at The Lark
The New Black Fest is supported in part by a special grant from the Ford Foundation.
Additional support provided through grants to The Lark from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.