Milwaukee Black Theater Festival

Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

The Milwaukee Black Theater Festival Returns

Bigger Than Ever with Events Across the City

Black Arts MKE presents week-long celebration showcasing our city’s

strong and growing Black performing arts and culture scene

MILWAUKEE (June 15, 2022) – Black Arts MKE is proud to present the third annual Milwaukee

Black Theater Festival, returning to venues across the city from August 10-14. The week-long

celebration of Black arts and culture features free and ticketed events throughout each day,

including full-production and staged reading plays, an R&B and Gospel fundraiser concert,

spoken word and dance performances, and talk-back and panel discussions. This year’s theme

is The Black Family: Generations Speak!, presented by generations of Black artists, includes

events for the entire family, acknowledges community challenges, and encourages everyone to

come together now to celebrate Black theater, healing, and unity.

“For the first time, the festival will be held across multiple venues, in an effort to expose more of

the city to rich cross-disciplinary artistic and cultural activity produced by Milwaukee-based

Black artists,” says Cory Nettles, Board Chair. “We’re proud to produce Milwaukee Black

Theater Festival to share more of our stories and put a spotlight on emerging young Black

playwrights and professional theater organizations, including Bronzeville Arts Ensemble and

Lights! Camera! Soul!.” Expanded venues include Marcus Performing Arts Center, St. Ann

Center Indaba Community Band Shell, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, and The Table Vocational


Access the Festival Digital Program here or visit

Milwaukee Black Theater Festival events include:

• Two theatrical world premieres produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble: Milwaukee

Voices of Gun Violence by Sheri Williams Pannell and Khloe’s Beautiful Blues staged

reading by La’Ketta Caldwell

• Theatrical production of Hidden Heroes by Shà Cage – The Black Women of NASA

produced by First Stage and directed by Samantha Montgomery

• Youth & Family Night kicks off the festival with preview performances from several

collaborating BIPOC youth theater and dance organizations including First Stage,

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Next Act Theatre, and

Signature Dance Company

• This Just In staged reading by Malaina Moore, an emerging young MKE-based Black


• Family Reunion Concert Fundraiser produced by Antoine Reynolds and featuring

Milwaukee’s most talented R&B and Gospel artists and musicians

• Milwaukee Black Theater Community, Let’s Talk! Including a History of Milwaukee Black

Theater, moderated panel discussion, and an Adolphus Ward Scholarship presentation

produced by Lights! Camera! Soul!’s Dimonte Henning

• Healing Through the Arts Showcase performances presented by several artists and

survivors as portrayed in Milwaukee Voices of Gun Violence

“We’re honoring the Black Family during the third year of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival

which provides an opportunity to tell stories which entertain us while sharing our

history, exploring our challenges, uniting our generations, and celebrating our beauty!,” adds

Sheri Williams Pannell, co-founder Milwaukee Black Theatre Festival and Bronzeville Arts

Ensemble producing artistic director. “

This festival would not be possible without the generous support of the United Performing Arts

Fund (UPAF), Wisconsin Humanities, The Black Seed, National Endowment for the Arts and

BMO Harris Bank.