Now in its fourth year, SOB looks bigger and better than ever, led by the major creative players on the African American community theater scene, including Shawn Whitsell and Mary McCallum. McCallums SistaStyle Productions mounts two major efforts, Gail Wynn Huland Els dark comedy Green Honey Love (Sept. 10-12) and William Mastrosimones tough rape drama Extremities (Sept. 12-13). Meanwhile, Whitsells original play Ebony Dreams (Sept. 17-20) explores the psyche of a 17-year-old, whose daytime reverie serves as a vehicle for escaping the harsh realities of her home life. Tomboy in Chic Productions is a new addition this year, offering Words You Shouldnt Say to Brown Girls, a one-woman show performed by Melissa Gordon. Also joining Shades of Blacks resident companies are guest producers Nairobi Café, with a remounting of Amazing Grace (Sept. 4-6), and Collards & Caviar Theatre Productions, with their remounting of Dennis McIntires issues-oriented cop drama Split Second (Sept. 24-26). The fests lineup of extras looks new and improved as well, including readings from new plays (Sept. 7), an acting workshop for kids conducted by Jon Royal (Sept. 12), a late-night poetry jam (Sept. 19), a short film showcase (Sept. 15) and standup and sketch comedy (Sept. 12). Festivities kick off on Aug. 28 with Michael L. Walkers original Love Ballad, a marital drama directed by John B. Wiggins. For all the particulars, visit shadesofblackfestival.com.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 28. Continues through Sept. 26, 2009