Black Theatre Troupe discusses upcoming performances

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The Black Theatre Troupe: BTT kicks off their new season. Executive Director David Hemphill says that the troupe is back and doing very well as this season’s shows prepare to be performed.

“We’re in good shape. COVID not only gave us a chance to retool a lot of things in terms of our infrastructure, operation, etc., it also seemed to be very important as a fundraising tool,” Hemphill said.

The troupe had a full schedule this year, one of the shows being “Five Guys Named Moe” which is about five boys coming out of a radio. It’s a very interesting musical with a lot of singing and dancing, Hemphill said.

Post-COVID audience participation has been a weary topic among the troupe, but there have been other mitigations to ensure proper COVID safety.

“We are asking people, if they aren’t vaccinated, to mask. Now last season, masks were mandatory, but this season, we kind of relaxed it a bit and told people if they aren’t vaccinated to please be nice to people and put a mask on,” Hemphill said.

An upcoming show is a comedy focused on the American family called “Barbecue.”

“That’s a great show by Robert O’Hara,” Hemphill said. “The first act is a white family and the second act is a black family making a film about what the white family just did in the first act.”

Another upcoming show is a one called “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” by August Wilson. The theatre troupe has done all 10 of Wilson’s shows, and is now repeating these performances with the aim of informing the new generation of what August Wilson means to the theatre. Hemphill touches on what makes Wilson so important.

“I think it’s his understanding of the human condition. He just knows and feels how it is to be a person in this world today,” Hemphill said.

David Hemphill, Executive Director of the Black Theatre Troupe

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