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Presented by IndyFringe
Featuring 4 playwrights selected by a jury process
Established in 2011, OnxyFest is striving to become, in the words of the late playwright, August Wilson, a festival that “informs its viewers of the human condition and its power to heal.” OnyxFest is determined to be the vehicle to promote and expose avid theatre goers to the voices and talent of new and emerging African American playwrights.
OnyxFest is Indianapolis' first and only theater festival dedicated to the stories of African American playwrights. Now in its sixth year, OnyxFest was developed in response to the lack of diversity on stage and in audiences of Indianapolis' theaters; except the IndyFringe Theater. IndyFringe has worked tirelessly with African American playwrights to change the Indianapolis theatrical landscape of storytellers, actors and audiences at the two IndyFringe theatres.
Onyx Fest is a(nother) step towards institutionalizing the IndyFringe Theater's commitment to provide support and performance venues that are inclusive of all playwrights who make up the Indianapolis community.
The Quilting is an autobiographical play that depicts the abuse the playwright’s mother endured and how her strength had the ability to heal. The importance of this piece is that it shows the rippling effects of abuse and shows that in spite of the terror of abuse there is still the possibility of hope, self-realization, and forgiveness.
Mijiza Holiday resides in Indianapolis and has performed at the Indianapolis Civic Theater, and the Indianapolis Civic, Madame C.J. Walker, Phoenix, IndyFringe Theatre, Muncie Civic Theater and Indiana Repertory Theater. She has worked with Picture-This and Inter-Act, an educational impromptu theatre group she co-founded. She has starred in “Facing Our Truth”, “Most Valuable Player” and “Woman of Truth” and she has worked with the Asante Children’s Theatre as a choreographer. Most recently, she was the lead actress in “Anna’s Wings” and “It is Well”.
The best line in the play: We searched together and found our scattered pieces one by one by one…cloaking us in peace.
Profession: Mijiza is also a visual and textile artist who has shown her worth throughout Indiana.
Black Lives Matter (too) is one part play and one part storypoem that explores the struggles and triumphs of black people from slavery to the present.
Ashya Thomas - Ashya Thomas is Ball State Creative Writing major with a minor in Telecommunications. She has written several short stories and poetic works. She resides in Muncie, Indiana. In her spare time, Ashya enjoys teaching Zumba and leading the Ball State CHAARG organization. You can follow her on Instagram @ashyab or on Twitter @ashya_b
Angela Jackson-Brown - Angela Jackson-Brown is an award winning writer, poet and playwright who teaches Creative Writing and English at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She is a graduate of the Spalding low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing. She is the author of the novel Drinking From A Bitter Cup and has published in numerous literary journals. Recently Angela’s play, Anna’s Wings, was selected to be a part of the IndyFringe 2016 DivaFest and this fall, her play will It Is Well will embark on a four city tour and her play Flossie Bailey Takes a Stand will be part of the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. Currently, Angela is collaborating with musicians on a musical she wrote called Underneath the Chinaberry Tree and she and her agent are putting the finishing touches on her novel, Shooting Across the Sky. For more information go to www.angelajacksonbrown.com or www.jacksonbrownentertainment.com.
Best line from the play: So stand with us and let’s embark on this journey together to go out there and reclaim black back.
Truth— The One Man Show is the culmination of 152 years of truth coming from the souls of four individuals. Silas Christian, a runaway slave; Harley Wallace, a Klu Klux Klan member; Malik Muhammad, a Civil Rights Activist and Jackson Thomas, a misguided young man are all fighting for family.
"This is my first OnyxFest production and I hope it brings Unity. As the mission of the festival is to informs its viewers of the human condition and its power to heal. I hope that as more diverse crowds attend the Onyx Fest we create compassion and empathy for each other. It’s important to have a place where emerging artists can nurture their craft and test material on audiences."
What is your favorite line in your play:
"I’m a walking contradiction— a commodity.”
This line comes from the young incarcerated character, Jackson. I like this line because it represents the complexity of this character, showing how an individual may appear to the audience at the beginning, but once the audiences witnesses the character’s evolution, they will leave realizing we all are the same; no matter our race, color, creed, or socioeconomic status.
Follow me on Facebook: facebook.com/RyanLBennett
Etta, a bride-to-be receives an unexpected visit from her ex-husband as she prepares for her wedding. As she and her bridesmaids tries to deal with it themselves without telling her groom, chaos ensues. Will her past ruin her future?
What Nicole has to say about this festival:
OnyxFest provides the Indianapolis community with it's only African American playwright's festival. It exposes audiences of all ethnicity to new voices and new work that would not be seen without the festival. Without OnyxFest the theatre community in Indianapolis remains white and male in it's staging of stories. OnyxFest provides an outlet for voices typically excluded from stages in the city. It gives emerging and established playwrights an opportunity to see their work onstage, before an audience and get feedback as to what works and doesn't. It helps the playwright be able to revise and rework their play and stage it again in other venues. The entire Indianapolis community benefits; while the African American community is targeted; the stories being told transcend ethnicity and are stories of all people.
My favorite line in your play - Etta: James is here? It's when the bride-to-be finds out from her bridesmaids here ex-husband has shown up at her wedding.
What is your profession? I'm writer, I have a startup Sip & Share Wine that does home and event wine tasting and I coach creative entrepreneurs to see their endeavors come to life.
Follow Nicole: website/facebook links - nicolekearney.com Facebook.com/nicolekearneyproductions Twitter @nicolekearneypd Instagram @nicolekearneyproductions