Black Stories Black Voices
“Barter’s Black in Appalachia Initiative (BIAI) has a new name! We have found that the growth of the Initiative is encompassing Appalachian stories, and stories beyond the region as well. The new name is Black Stories Black Voices (BSBV). The name change leans in to our full mission which is to tell and amplify Black stories and voices through playwriting, acting and all theatrical disciplines. With BSBV, we hope to help shine a light on the richness of the Black experience in this region and for this region.”
– Terrance Jackson, Director of Outreach & Barter’s Black Stories Black Voices
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EVENTS BY BLACK STORIES BLACK VOICES
Shine: Illuminating Black Stories
Sunday, February 26th, 5pm at Gilliam Stage
Join us for readings of the monologues selected for 2023’s SHINE: Illuminating Black Stories, free of charge! SHINE is an annual evening of storytelling that explores the Black experience in Appalachia, curated by Barter’s Black Stories Black Voices. Using prompts derived from our local Black community and Appalachian region, Black playwrights from across the country submit original monologues to be performed and directed by our artists. SHINE always provides an unforgettable experience to our audiences, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the Black artists of our region! More information.
Skeleton Crew Community Night– BLACK COAL
Saturday, May 20th, 8pm at Barter’s Smith Theatre
The characters in Skeleton Crew each face tough choices when the Detroit auto-stamping factory where they’ve worked their entire career begins the process of shutting its doors. Do they stay? Do they go? When the coal industry began to leave Appalachia, Black coalfield communities were faced with the same dilemma. What happens to a community when its main industry leaves? Join BSBV Director and cast member Terrance Jackson as he talks with historian Ron Carson from the Appalachian African-American Cultural Center in Pennington Gap, VA about the challenges these communities faced and what they did to overcome them.
To Kill a Mockingbird Community Night: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO TOM ROBINSON?
Friday, September 8th, 8pm at Gilliam Stage
Atticus was told that Tom Robinson was killed trying to escape – but is that really true? How does that story fit with what we know about Tom from the book? How does this story change when viewed from a Black perspective? Join the Black cast members of To Kill a Mockingbird and special guest Adam Dickson, Adjunct Instructor of Political Science at ETSU and Supervisor of the Langston Centre in Johnson City, TN as they discuss the context, history, and themes surrounding racial inequality and injustice in the book, the play and our world at large.
More 2023 Events Coming Soon!
PAST EVENTS & GALLERY
Shine: Illuminating Black Stories, April 2022
An evening of storytelling that explores the Black experience in Appalachia while celebrating the work of its Black theatre artists. Six Black playwrights from across the country presented monologues inspired by this collection, performed by Rita Cole and Vince McGill.
Free Monologue Writing Workshop, September 2022
Playwright Quinton Cockrell (winner of Barter’s 2021 BSBV full-length play competition) shared tips on how to write a great monologue with aspiring BIPOC writers in a virtual writing workshop.
Community Night of The Royale, October 2022
BIPOC community members, students, artists, journalists and theater lovers of all kinds were invited to a special discounted (for BIPOC only) showing and hosted talk-back for The Royale by Marco Ramirez at Barter’s Smith Theatre. The Royale follows Jay “The Sport” Jackson, who dreams of being the undisputed heavyweight champion in the racially segregated world of boxing in 1905.
2023 Resources Coming Soon!
BSBV’S MONOLOGUE COMPETITION
It is our hope that by connecting Black playwrights (wherever they are located) with stories from Black Appalachian communities, we can:
- Create monologues that can be developed into full-length plays
- Create work that explores the Black Appalachian experience, both past and present
- Establish and cultivate relationships with Black playwrights and other Black theatre artists
- Give audiences accessibility to new perspectives on life in Appalachia
Monologue Submission Guidelines
- Playwright must be Black.
- Monologues must be set in Appalachia. (See link below for list of qualifying states/counties as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission)
- Monologues must be 5-7 minutes in length (190 words = 1 minute).
- Monologues must be unpublished and not have had a professional production.
- Monologues must be written using prompts below (2024 Prompts coming soon).
- Monologues must be submitted electronically.
Please submit monologues to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions for 2023 have been closed. Stay tuned for next year’s submission deadlines!
5-7 monologues will be selected to be performed during Barter’s Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (Jan./Feb. 2024 – date TBD)
BSBV’S FULL PLAY SELECTIONS FOR AFPP
As part of our commitment to amplifying the voices of Black Appalachians, our annual Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (AFPP) presents at least one play written by a Black Appalachian playwright each year.
Past BSBV Selects for AFPP:
2023 – The Transported Man by Russell Nichols
2022 – Fish-Tales & Legendary Lies by Anthony Mapp
2021 – City Limits by Quinton Cockrell
Full Length Play Submission Guidelines
- Playwright must be Black.
- Plays must be written by an Appalachian playwright or the plays must be set in the Appalachian Region. See here for list of qualifying states/counties as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission: https://www.arc.gov/appalachian_region/CountiesinAppalachia.asp
- Plays must be full length.
- Plays must be unpublished and not have had a professional production.
- Plays must be submitted electronically.
Please submit plays to: email@example.com