Details about event

The 8th Annual Columbus Black Theatre Festival (CBTF) is this July 10th thru July 12th!   

The festival will be presented as a free live streaming event this year due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions in Ohio. The CBTF theme is "INCLUSION" which is very appropriate at this time in our society. 

The CBTF team received plays from playwrights across the states between November 2019 and February 2020, and through a “blind read process” selected the plays and monologues to be presented, and notified the playwrights on March 1, 2020 that their plays would be produced by Mine 4 God Productions, the producers of the CBTF, at the July festival.  

On March 5, Ohio was informed that they would be on a mandate order to stay at home, close up shop, shut down the schools and go out only when necessary. COVID-19 had arrived and everyone, every business, every person had to make an adjustment to the current situation. The CBTF had to also make adjustments to how and if they would be able to present the theatre festival amongst the pandemic. 

CBTF team members, Julie Whitney Scott (Founder of CBTF & Mine 4 God Productions), Felicia Shanklin (Lady Butterflies Columbus, OH/Atlanta, GA), Faye Ray (Final Wishes Entertainments), Jasmyn Green (DNGinc Productions), Gwen Edwards (State of the Arts Productions), James Blackmon (JB3 Entertainment), and Ga’NeNe Edwards (Ladi Sunshine) decided that the “show must go on” and begin to develop a plan.  

The plan involved changing the format of the production to using only monologues and plays that they would be able to rehearse and present while staying in the social distancing guidelines of the state and keeping each other safe from the virus. 

As the CBTF continued to make plans, that changed each week due to the restriction orders, little did they know that the plays they were going to present this year would seem to come right out of the newspaper headlines. They didn’t know that each week they would see the news media and social media flooded with videos of Ahmaud Arbery, a young black jogger, being chased down and killed like an animal by two white men. That George Floyd would be shown dying, live and in living color, on Facebook, while a white police officer knelt on his neck and other police officers knelt on his back for how many minutes? Eight minutes and fifteen seconds! Who knew that a white woman would be caught dead in the act of pulling the “white woman in distress and fear of a black man” card and video taped calling the police and making a false claim that a “black man is threatening me” knowing full well that that same black man could end up dead, and that many others have ended up dead, due to these type of racist claims from thoughtless people. 

Say the Namesby Andrea Fleck Clardy is about a white woman who wants to help the Black Lives Matter cause and is struggling with being included by both the black and white people involved. 

Not Noticingby James Marlow tackles the difficulties of a black and white man trying to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a respectful way that allows each of them to truly express themselves. 

The Ropeby Dan Morra is set in Florida in 1956 and deals with Jim Crow laws and the relationship between black and white Reds teammates.

Christmas Gigby Letha Dawson deals with the fears of a white woman who finds herself alone on the street with a black man and adds the element of her daughter who has none of the stereotypes that her mother displays.

She Wanted Meby Marj O’Neill-Butler shares the feelings of a foster child who never gets adopted.  The Girl Scoutby Julie Whitney Scott introduces the 4th grade class of Weiland Park Elem School in 1966 and their exclusion from the Scouts

I Can Flyby Gary Sironen reaches into the mind of a teen struggling to be herself and others acceptance or unacceptance of her behavior.

Man Downby Mimi Ayers is about the lifespan of a man who was once young and productive and is now old and dependent on others.

After the performances on Saturday and Sunday there will be a Theatre Talk-Back that audience members can join to ask any questions that they have for the playwrights, directors, and actors. 

The CBTF streams live 7:00 PM July 10-12th on Facebook at

To join in the Talk-Backs log in starting at 7:30 or after the shows on July 11th-12th at


Link to join Webinar:



Link to join Webinar