Black theater has long been a part of America’s entertainment tradition, with stars such as “Cosby Show” actress Phylicia Rashad and media mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs frequently making appearances on stage. In honor of the craft, the first D.C. Black Theater Festival showcased the works of more than 70 playwrights, directors and theater companies from around the world Aug. 1-7.

According to festival Executive Director Glenn Alan, the event highlighted traditional and urban theater projects that speak to the Black experience.

The festival included an array of visual presentations, workshops, a monologue competition and a nightly one-act competition at various theaters in the District. However, the highlight of the week-long event was the series of plays – dramedys, comedies, improvisations and more.

Among the featured production was Desi P. Shelton’s I Killed My Baby’s Daddy, a one-woman play examining the journeys of single mothers; The Black Man-o-logues, which offers the male perspective on Black love and God is on the Devil’$ Payroll an irreverent production that examines good versus evil through the eyes of three men following the earthquake destruction in Haiti.

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