Wake Forest University has received $250,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation to commission and produce two original plays to be presented at the 2024 National Black Theatre Festival.
The project, “Finding Holy Ground: Performing Visions of Race and Justice in America,” is a collaboration among the School of Divinity, the North Carolina Black Repertory Company and Wake the Arts.
“Performance art expands our moral imaginations. It can enrich our sense of love, empathy and compassion. Thus we are grateful for the Luce Foundation’s generous support of our efforts.” said Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of the School of Divinity.
“This collaboration between Wait Chapel, Wake the Arts, and the North Carolina Black Repertory Company represents our commitment to reach across traditional divides to pursue a common good.” Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of the School of Divinity
The plays will be selected based on their ability to encourage community conversations on race, justice and religion in the U.S. Playwrights will submit ideas for works that address topics such as homophobia, racism, white supremacy, and social inequities in America.
“My first introduction to theatre was the church,” said Jackie Alexander, artistic director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company. “However, the conflicting messages of love and hate often disseminated in those sacred venues continue to fuel injustices throughout America, and the world. The Finding Holy Ground project looks to confront those contradictions and spark healing dialogue between worshippers of all faiths.”
The plays selected will be staged in Wait Chapel during the 2024 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem. Community events will be held to promote discussions and reflection.
For playwright submission instructions/guidelines, please visit the North Carolina Black Repertory website here.