023: Lead Curator and Strategist JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell launches the first BULL CITY BLACK THEATER FESTIVAL

JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell gives us the scoop on The Bull City Black Theater Festival, a vital, NEW, and upcoming event in Durham, NC. Why a festival rather than a stand-alone performance? Why focus on local artists? Who should attend? Why this festival now? JaMeeka answers those questions and more with gratitude, grace, and enthusiasm. Be there.

From the BCBTF website: “Hosted by Black Ops Theatre Company, The Bull City Black Theater Festival is a new event in Durham, North Carolina created to celebrate Black Theater Arts, Artists, and Culture.  The festival will showcase the voices of current, local movers and shakers while encouraging and empowering upcoming and aspiring professional Black Theatre artists, administrators and practitioners. “

Festival Dates:
March 15 – 24, 2018

TICKETS on the Manbites Dog Theater website

Additional info on the Bull City Black Theater Festival website

JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell is a theatre events curator, administrator, and Director passionate about advancing the legacy of Black Theaters and Black Theatre Practitioners.  In 2011 after studying Technical Theater at North Carolina Central University’s Department of Theatre, she interned in Arts Admin and worked as a stage manager for The Lark Play Development Center in New York City. In 2013 JaMeeka was the company management resident at Cape May Stage in Cape May, NJ.  JaMeeka serves as Artistic Director and Producer for Black Ops, a theatre company in Durham, NC which she founded in 2015.  She just recently returned to her hometown after spending 3 months as an assistant director at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  Additionally, JaMeeka is also Project Manager for The Black Theatre Commons, a national advocacy group and resource sharing network for Black Theaters and practitioners.

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! This episode was recorded at the ASBX home studio.

Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro, thanks to patrons Tim McMackin and Julie Rhodes, JaMeeka’s bio, and description of the Bull City Black Theater Festival

[2:47] What is JaMeeka’s role in this festival?

[3:06] Why a festival rather than a stand-alone play or single event?

[4:24] Why focus on local artists as leaders and presenters for this festival?

[7:00] The  Bullcity Creative Development Team — Who are they?

[10:04] How did the team decide what to offer during the Festival?

[13:35] JaMeeka takes us through the festival events: staged readings, workshops, a master class, and community conversations over two weekends! This line-up is incredible, so check out the BCBTF website for details:  Events  Performances  Festival Artists and Workshops (Most of the events are free/donation based.)

[21:06] What would JaMeeka say to potential festival participants who are nervous about attending?

[24:43] What has JaMeeka heard from the artists who’ll be leading the Festival sessions?

[27:43] Quote from the BCBTF website: “Our festival welcomes allies and is not exclusionary, but, explicitly challenges white supremacy, misogyny, under and mis-representation in the theatre by affirming equitable, diverse, and inclusive practices at the beginning and end of our journey with art and as artists.” Why was this important to include on the website?

[30:26] What is JaMeeka looking most forward to about this festival? Getting together with Black Ops, MOJOAA, Black Poetry Theatre

[31:55] What are some of the goals of the BCBTF?

[34:40] Is this going to be an annual event? National Black Theatre Festival occurs every other year.

[35:37] Why is this the Bull City BLACK Theatre Festival? What was missing locally that motivated the artists to put up a festival of this sort?

[37:29] What’s next for JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell?

[44:10] Thanks and sign-off

Artist Soapbox podcast is a listener supported podcast. If you listen, please support the podcast by sharing episodes with friends and contributing via our Patreon campaign.

If you have feedback, questions, suggestions, please email artistsoapbox@gmail.com. FEEDBACK IS EVERYTHING TO ASBX.

People and Orgs Mentioned:

018: Artist & Leader Monèt Noelle Marshall speaks thru BUY MY SOUL AND CALL IT ART

013: Music Supervisor and Voice Over Casting Director Aurelia Belfield breaks down A&E and aspirational art

010: Playwright Ian Bowater reaches out for feedback on his MILLENNIUM BOY

005: Director JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell gives voice to the value of community

National Black Theatre

Dr. Barbara Ann Teer

New Federal Theatre

Woodie King, Jr.

Karamu House

Wendell Tabb

NCCU Theater & Dance

Samm-Art Williams

Art of Cool Festival

Dr. Cicely Mitchell

Manbites Dog Theater

Artist Soapbox

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Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Jesus Pancake, Declaration of Love, Food for Thought, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

Jesus (1400 × 1400 px)-2

Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.


The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.


Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.


Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”


Food for Thought

Three pilot episodes of new scripted audio fiction series inspired by the prompt Food for Thought.


ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

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