Bullcity Black Theater Festival

Produced by Black Ops Theatre Company
Other Voices Presentation

Festival Dates:
March 15 – 24, 2018

at Manbites Dog Theater
Tickets on sale

Black Ops launches a new theater festival, bringing together playwrights, directors, choreographers, dramaturgs, and actors from some of the Triangle’s premier Black theater groups. The festival will present staged readings of three new short plays at Manbites Dog the first week, as well as hosting three free Community Conversations the second week, plus a series of workshops and other events. forums, classes, artist mixers, and more at various locations in Durham.

More information at the Festival website.

Presented as part of Manbites Dog’s Other Voices Series

WEEK ONE: Staged Readings (Tickets $10 / $5 Students)
Three of the Triangle’s premiere Black theater groups present staged readings of three new short works by local playwrights, performed at Manbites Dog Theater over three nights.

• Thursday March 15 at 7:30:
by NaTasha Thompson
Directed by Kyma Lassiter
Presented by Black Ops Theatre Company
An original piece depicting critical days leading up to the deployment of  Lt. Alexandra Sparrow. Based in North Carolina, Alex must decide who will have custody of her child during her tour in Afghanistan. A pulsation of scenes challenging race, parenthood and the dynamics of family; 12.21.09  was conceived to facilitate difficult conversation.

• Friday March 16 at 7:30:
Definition of a Hero
by Dasan Ahanu
presented by Black Poetry Theatre
Definition of a Hero interrogates our idea of a hero while examining the complex relationships between perception and understanding. Through a combination of rhyme, rhythm, and music coupled with thought-provoking verse, this production brings images of courage, frailty, hope, and joy to life.  The production features original pieces performed by actors and poets. The aim is to highlight the stories that cannot go untold. 

• Saturday March 17 at 7:30
by Monet Marshall
presented by MOJOAA Performing Arts
Raissoneur (pronounced rez-uh-nur) is a character in a play, novel, or the like who voices the central theme, philosophy, or point of view of the work, also known as the voice of the writer. But how can there be one voice when we are such complex and multifaceted people? A one-act, one-woman play with 7 actors, [rez-uh-nur] is a play within a play, a whodunit and a performance piece rolled into one. But ultimately its a story of finding our many parts and making them whole.

WEEK 2: Community Conversations
Free, door donations welcome

• Friday March 23 at 7:30 p.m.
The State of Black Theatre: Then, Now, Locally
An interative Black theater overview with Rhetta Green, John Harris, and JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell

• Saturday March 24 at 3:00 p.m.
Monet Marshall
A conversation with artist Monet Marshall about her recent performance art exhibition, Buy My Soul and Call it Art, with Mike Williams, founder of the Black on Black Project.

• Saturday March 24 at 8:00 p.m.
I Am Black
Preregister for I Am Black here
A community conversation with Tommy DeFrantz. In this dialogic manifesto-lecture, Chair of African and African American studies at Duke University, Tommy DeFrantz offers strategies for acknowledging how artists of color and their collaborating audiences of color operate in several keys simultaneously, but are inevitably compelled to reduce their work and experience to the unknowable, shameful category of ‘race.’ An exploration of black performance, black identity, and black expression.

2017-18 Season Producers:
David Ball and Susan C. Pochapsky, Dorrie Casey and Archie Purcell, Barbara Dickinson and Michel Tharp, Marybeth Dugan and Kenny Dalsheimer, Mig and Michael Hayes, Jane Holding, Thomas S. Kenan III, John Martin and Robert Anthony McVeigh, Michael O’Foghludha and Linda Daniel

Manbites Dog Theater’s 2017-2018 season is supported by the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund, and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.



• Thu Mar 15 – 7:30 – 12.21.09 – Black Ops Theatre
• Fri Mar 16 – 7:30 – Definition of a Hero – Black Poetry Theatre
• Sat Feb 17 – 7:30 – Raissanour – MOJOAA Performing Arts
Tickets: $10 / $5 students


• Fri Mar 23 – 7:30 – The State of Black Theatre
• Sat Mar 24 – 3:00 – Conversation with Monet Marshall
• Sat Mar 24 – 8:00 – I Am Black – with Tommy DeFrantz (Preregister for I Am Black here)
Free Events – Door donations welcome.


Saturday March 17th
• 11:00am – 12:45pm – Playwriting Masterclass with Howard Craft (fee required)
• 1:00pm – 2:45pm – The Playground: Acting workshop with Lakeisha Coffey
• 3:00pm – 4:45pm – Soulprovisation: Movement workshop with Tristan Parks

Thursday March 22: Special Added Workshop
• 6:30 – 8:30 – Buy My Body And Call It A Ticket – Movement Workshop
We carry stories in our bodies. Stories of our own making and stories that we have inherited. Monét Noelle Marshall invites us into a movement workshop to explore these stories. This free workshop is part of the preparation for her next piece, Buy My Body And Call it A Ticket. If you have a body, no matter the age, size, height, color, ability or amount of artistic experience, you are invited.
Email Monet with any questions about this workshop.
Sign up here (for this workshop only)

Sat March 24th
• 10:30am – 11:45am – Coffee, Conversation and tips for actors: with Kathy Hunter-Williams
• 11:00am – 1:15pm – Next Act: Creativity and Performance for women over 50 with Rhetta Greene and Robin Carmon Marshall

Sign up required for workshops.
Free except where indicated
Sign up for workshops here