Poster promoting Black Theater Festival

Each year the Columbus Black Theatre Festival deals with topics that pertain not only to the African American community but society at large and this year is no different. The first year of the festival dealt with family themes by playwright Sanika Harris, Tisha Harris and Nanette Hodge. The second year added the struggles of Black business owners and the injustices of African American people with plays by Stefanie Moss, Carol Williams, Tasha Neal and Jasmine Green. The founder of the festival, Julie Whitney Scott, ends each festival on the last day with one of her original plays; 2013 “Secrets of a Dark Skin Sister” which has been accepted in the Silent River Screenplay Competition this year, and in 2014 “The Woes of a Black Race” that dealt with the Zimmerman verdict.

  This year the playwrights include: Is Said, Curtis Shepard, Z.F. Taylor, Charlay Marie, Aaron D. Martin, Jean Green, Tasha Neal and Julie Whitney Scott. Tasha Neal is returning for the second year with her one woman comedy play “G-h-e-t-t-Oh No she Din’t.” Curtis Shepard’s one man play “UnMasked” is getting rave reviews from critics from the many festivals he has already attended this year in Ohio and other states. “UnMasked” gives us insight into the world of detox, mental illness and suicide.

  “Come Alive” is written and directed by Indiana native and Ohio playwright Julie Whitney Scott of Mine 4 God Productions. Cassandra Stewart, of Jehdeiah Music Co, is responsible for directing the dance/music of the musical “Come Alive” and her CD, “Arise: Permission to live” is the inspiration of the play. Casandra has also been nominated by the Kingdom Image Award for 2015 “Female artist of the year.”

  Whitney Scott and Cassandra tackle the issue of suicide and social bullying in America head on as seen through the lives of college students and adults who have either attempted to or had someone they know succeed at killing themselves. Julie Whitney Scott states “when I heard the CD and the story behind the music, that Cass herself was suicidal when writing the lyrics, I was compelled to bring the music to life in a musical play to encourage others like her to live and not die, especially since I too was suicidal and made an attempt to take my own life in my teens.”  

  Cassandra’s album “Arise: Permission to Live” sends a clear message to each listener, “that God has called us to overcome any and all adversity, that He is commanding us to ARISE!”

  This July 10 -12, 2015, come share in the three day event of free workshops for youth, teens and adults at the MLK and Shepard Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Libraries on Friday, July 10th and enjoy original plays by black playwrights on July 11th and July 12th at the Columbus Performing Arts Center 549 Franklin Ave, Cols. Ohio 43215.

  Information about this event is at

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