Written by Vernon A. Williams, Director of OnyxFest
The dramatic climax of OnyxFest 2023 – the state’s first and only Black theater festival – will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the iconic Crispus Attucks High School Auditorium, according to the sponsoring Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI (A.R.T.I.).
Organizers say the works of Black playwrights from Indianapolis, Detroit, Atlanta and Memphis will be staged in the shadows of Historic Indiana Avenue for the first time in a symbolic effort to connect that storied past to the creativity of Black artists in the new millennium.
OnyxFest Director Vernon A. Williams said, “Countless talented Black performers graced the stage of the Attucks auditorium throughout the 20th Century. Similar scores of luminaries performed on ‘The Avenue’ only stones’ throw away from the campus. This spiritual connection of legacy and the work of those sustaining the arts today embody an inseparable cultural marriage.”
Tickets are $15 and on sale at https://indyfringe.org/onyxfest/. Group Price and OnyxFest 2023 Pass are available. Use your OnyxFest 2023 Pass to attend all 5 productions.
The OnyxFest 2023 finale weekend schedule is as follows:
Friday, November 10 through Sunday, November 12 at the Crispus Attucks High School Auditorium.
- Friday, November 10: “TIGONE” by Levi Frazier, Jr. at 6:30 pm; and “BABE” by Delores Thornton at 8:00 pm.
- Saturday, November 11: “RIGHT BEHIND YOU” by D.L. Patrick at 1:30 pm; “THE HEART OF A MAN” by Ardre Orie at 3:00 pm; “BABE” by Delores Thornton at 4:30 pm; “5 MOODS OF BLACK ANGUISH” by Josiah Ray McCruiston at 6:00 pm; and “TIGONE” by Levi Frazier, Jr. at 7:30 pm.
- Sunday, November 12: “5 MOODS OF BLACK ANGUISH” by Josiah Ray McCruiston at 3:00 pm; “RIGHT BEHIND YOU” by D.L. Patrick at 4:30 pm; and “THE HEART OF A MAN” by Ardre Orie at 6:00 pm.
About A.R.T.I. (Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI):
The Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI (ARTI) is a program of study offered by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the School of Education and the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement using a multidisciplinary approach to “edutainment.” ARTI was developed
to document and artistically reflect the history, cultural life, and politics of peoples of the African Diaspora. As a public arts initiative, ARTI has a deep commitment to and focuses on artistic and community engagement. Learning in the arts is invaluable at all stages of
life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life may advance civic engagement while also creating a college and career pathway.
The Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival (IndyFringe) founded in 2005 is a place, an event, a movement, an incubator for new talent and a magnet for imaginative and thoughtful people. IndyFringe established OnyxFest in 2011 to counter the lack of diversity
both on stage and in audiences of Indianapolis theatre. The annual festival is a vehicle to expose theatergoers to new and emerging Black playwrights. IndyFringe is best known for the annual IndyFringe Festival that transforms Mass Ave in downtown Indianapolis into a vibrant, eclectic and exciting festival avenue.