2017 National Black Theatre Festival To Honor, Feature North Carolina A&T

Greensboro, N.C. (May 19, 2017) -- The National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) this year will highlight the work of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University resident costumer designer Gregory Horton, who is being recognized at the event’s opening night gala for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design.

NBTF is the international outreach program of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The festival was founded in 1989 by the late Larry Leon Hamlin and is produced each year by the repertory company. It is scheduled to run July 31 – Aug. 5.

Horton designed costumes this year for an ambitious slate of N.C. A&T productions, including August Wilson’s “Radio Golf,” “Black Nativity” by Langston Hughes, John Shevin Foster’s “Plenty of Time” and “In the Red and Brown Water” by Tarrell Alvin McCraney, who recently won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the Oscar-winning “Moonlight.” 

“It gives me great pleasure to be receiving such a prestigious award on behalf of my colleagues and friends at North Carolina A&T State University,” said Horton. “I am grateful and elated.”

In addition to Horton’s recogntion, the N.C. A&T Theatre Arts Program’s production of McCraney’s “In the Red and Brown Water” will be performed for the NBTF Collegiate Fringe Festival under the direction of Darius Williams, Ph.D., executive director of A&T’s Paul Robeson Theatre. The production received rave reviews during its April run at N.C. A&T, both for the student actors’ performances and for Williams’ direction.

“My goal as Theatre Arts program director is to ensure our students are provided cutting-edge training that will prepare them to compete with the best artists in their field. Our most recent production of “In the Red and Brown Water” is a testament to the need for young actors to be challenged by language that is not only lyrical and compelling, but also plays that are artistically engaging and tell a great story,” said Williams. “I am deeply grateful to my amazing colleagues for their daily artistic output and to Festival Executive Producer Sylvia Hamlin for providing our program with this rare artistic platform.”

Approximately 120 performances are staged during the six days of NBTF and the Fringe Festival.  A dynamic collection of new works and black theater classics are performed by professional companies and collegiate theater groups from around the world. The shows are presented at multiple venues throughout Winston-Salem, also known as the City of Arts and Innovation.

To support the N.C. A&T Theatre Arts Program at NBTF, please call 336-723-2266 or visit www.nbtf.org to purchase tickets for the opening night gala and “In the Red and Brown Water.”

Photo by Symone Austin, photo by Barbara Greene.