100 Black Women Trailblazer Awards

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Central Ohio Chapter will celebrate their 10th Anniversary during the virtual 8th Annual Trailblazer Award and Scholarship Event; Thursday, September 9, 2021; 6:30 -8:00 PM. NC100BWCOC, Inc. is one of 62 chapters of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. and […]

UNMASKED – A Theatrical Celebration Of Black Women’s Liberation

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and Black Rebirth Collective announce a co-production of UNMASKED: A Theatrical Celebration of Black Women’s Liberation premiering on Juneteenth, Saturday, June 19, 2021, and available for on demand streaming through Friday, July 2. Co-directed by Kimberly Hébert, Black Rebirth Collective’s Artistic Director and Founder, and Camille Jenkins, The Wallis’ Programming Manager, Unmasked features one-act plays by Dominique Morisseau (Tony Award-nominated book writer, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations), Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play), Ngozi Anyanwu (Good Grief), and Stacy Osei-Kuffour (WATCHMEN), four of the country’s preeminent voices in American theater. The ensemble cast includes Kelly M. Jenrette (Emmy Award nominee, “The Handmaid’s Tale”), Makha Mthembu (“Sip & Tell; The Highlights from Shakespeare”), Candace Thomas (“Chicago Fire”), and Jonah Wharton (“NCIS”) and features violinist Katherine Washington.

Filmed in The Wallis’ Lovelace Studio Theater, the plays include Jezelle the Gazelle by Dominique Morisseau, a clear-eyed coming-of-age story about a young girl who is ready to prove that she’s the best runner on her block: young, fierce, and definitely faster than any boy. But is she fast enough to outrun what life has in store and claim her greatness? In White-N-Luscious by Jocelyn Bioh, a Nigerian pop star and an Afro-British scholar are confronted with the controversy of self-representation and unattainable beauty standards all while on a sensationalist talk show. G.O.A.T. by Ngozi Anyanwu spotlights friends Jay, Bonita, and Row, who have gathered to perform a sacred ritual to summon victory for the true Greatest Of All Time. In Madness by Stacy Osei-Kuffour, the protagonist, making a routine call to clean up a work issue, encounters a mysterious new colleague who offers her a unique brand of help.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger, rode into Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and slaves in Texas were free. According to directors Hébert and Jenkins, “With new interest and vigor, the country has been engaging in conversations and celebrations about this nationally forgotten moment in our collective history. The Wallis and Black Rebirth Collective have joined together to introduce to some and celebrate with many the triumphant spirit of this day through these plays by four extraordinary Black female playwrights. Dominique Morisseau, Jocelyn Bioh, Ngozi Anyanwu, and Stacy Osei-Kuffour reclaim the Black female perspective in American Theater, and we celebrate the liberation of their voices.”

Tickets for the evening of four plays are $19.00 per household, or $5.00 each for individual plays, for viewing on the Stellar streaming platform. For further information and to purchase tickets, please visit please visit https://tinyurl.com/StellarUnmasked

For more information about Unmasked, please visit BlackRebirthCollective.org/Unmasked or TheWallis.org/Unmasked.