Full Schedule Released and Tickets On-Sale for the 2023 MKE Black Theatre Festival, August 9-27

A 3-week-long festival featuring free events across the city designed to support Black creatives and two full-production ticketed plays: MUD ROW and THE MEETING

MILWAUKEE (July 18, 2023) – Today the full schedule has been unveiled and tickets are now on-sale for the 2023 MKE Black Theatre Festival, taking place from August 9-27, 2023. Produced by Black Arts MKE, this year’s festival is expanding from one week to a three-week-long celebration of Black arts and culture.

Throughout August, the festival will offer ticketed and free events, including two full-production plays, audition and play development workshops, a Black history presentation, a youth and family night, auditions for Black Nativity, a poetry set, and more. Events will occur at various venues throughout Milwaukee, including Marquette University, The Table at Alice’s Garden, Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum, and Studio 4A at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.


• August 9; 6:30 p.m. at Indaba Community Band Shell: Youth & Family Night directed by Ashley S. Jordan
• August 10; 11 a.m. at Studio 4a Marcus Center: AIR QUOTE MIKE, A play development workshop with Marti Gobel
• August 10-27; various times at Marquette University Helfaer Theatre: MUD ROW  by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Marti Gobel
• August 12; 5 p.m. at Wisconsin Black Historical Society & Museum: Reflections on Black History with Everett Marshburn, facilitated by Sheri Williams Pannell and Clayborn Benson III
• August 14; 6:30 p.m. at WoLF Studios: Audition Workshops – Headshots for Emerging & Professional Actors and Audition 101
• August 15; 6 p.m. at Studio 4a Marcus Center: Auditions for Black Nativity by Langston Hughes (Sign up here)
• August 17-19; 7:30 p.m. at The Table at Alice’s Garden: THE MEETING by Jeff Stetson, directed by Denzel Taylor in collaboration with Bronzeville Arts Ensemble
• August 26; 6 p.m. at North Avenue Market: Poetry Set with Cedric Dale Hoard & Jasmine Sims

MUD ROW follows two generations of sisters in an area in the East End of West Chester, Pennsylvania called “Mud Row” while attempting to work through themes of race, class, love, loss and family, in order to break and bend generational patterns set before them. The production is a new collaboration with Marquette University’s VIP Theatre Program.

Tickets to MUD ROW: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2023-mke-black-theatre-festival-mud-row-tickets-652147870837

THE MEETING is a fascinating one-act play that depicts the supposed meeting of two of the most important men of modern times: Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tickets to THE MEETING:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2023-mke-black-theatre-festival-the-meeting-tickets-652385361177

The festival is produced by Black Arts MKE, a Black-led performing arts organization that serves predominantly Black communities. Black Arts MKE is committed to increasing the availability and quality of African American arts and culture.

Major supporters and sponsors for the MKE Black Theatre Festival include BMO Harris Bank, National Endowment for the Arts, The Black Seed, Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee County’s Office of Equity, Katie Heil – Heil Family Foundation and the United Performing Arts Fund. Other supporters include BankFiveNine and Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP and in-kind sponsor Festival Foods.

For more information about the MKE Black Theatre Festival, please visit www.blackartsmke.org.

Black Arts MKE’s mission is to increase the availability and quality of African American arts and culture. We’re a Black-led performing arts organization who serves predominantly Black communities. We produce, present, and/or commission new performance arts works including classic works, readings, conversations, and festivals, as well as Black-led institutions focused on Black audience development, all rooted in the full diversity, complexity, and intersectionality of the Black Experience. Black Arts MKE’s annual signature events – MKE Black Theatre Festival and Black Nativity by Langston Hughes musical are annual Milwaukee favorites and feature all-black, MKE-area based cast. We’re a recipient of the APAP ArtsForward, NEA Grant for Arts Projects, The Black Seed and Theatre Communications Group national awards. Black Arts MKE is a producing theatre with World Premier Wisconsin. We are a member of TYA/USA, proud Member Group of the United Performing Arts Fund and Resident Group at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. Black Arts MKE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.