Ghostlight Productions and Nicely Theater Group are teaming up again for the 2nd Annual Obsidian Theater Festival. After a successful inaugural year amid a global pandemic, Obsidian is back and will include live and virtual offerings. “Right now it’s a cliché to mention how difficult the past two years have been, but the OTF has allowed us to create a platform for black artists. This work has the power to normalize black cultural experiences, while simultaneously celebrating the diversity of darkness. ”Says John Sloan III, Co-Executive Producer of the 2nd Annual Obsidian Theater Festival. Submissions are now open and in partnership with Blackboard Plays via blackboardplays.submittable.com. Founded in 2008 by creative Obsidian producer Garlia Cornelia Jones, Blackboard is dedicated to black playwrights across the African diaspora. Submissions close on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 17, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
The submission process will be open to all black playwrights nationwide
The submission panel will be announced at a later date.
Obsidian is a hybrid theater festival with virtual and in-person art events, as well as ancillary offerings. In its inaugural year, Obsidian featured emerging black artists, actors, directors, and playwrights from Detroit. Ancillary content from last year can be found on Youtube, Facebook and ObsidianFest.org. Additional content for 2022 will also be found there, free of charge. Registration will be required and necessary for our COVID compliance, health and safety protocols.
Last year, the Obsidian Theater Festival produced 45 individual segments, including panels, interviews, behind-the-scenes videos, original musical performances, and educational opportunities for students across the country. There have been over 50,000 minutes of content viewed and over 10,000 views worldwide, with audiences in 48 states and 28 countries, and all at no cost on advertising.
Like last year, viewers will be encouraged to support one of these three charities: Black Theater United, Detroit Public Schools Foundation, and Donate at www.obsidianfest.org/donate
For several months now, the Obsidian Exec team has been working to bring the festival to this point. Along with Co-Executive Producer and Production Artistic Director John Sloan III (The Lion King, GhostLight Productions) are Associate Artistic Director Alexis Sims (The Prince of Egypt); Managing Director, Joshua Cashman (Disney Theatrical, Steppenwolf); Creative Producer, Garlia Cornelia Jones (Blackboard Plays, Harlem9, The Public, PAAL), Production Manager, Yemisi Odetoyinbo; and director of arts education, Sarae Daniels.
In fall 2020, production founder and artistic director John Sloan III and festival co-executive producer David Carroll issued a call for new work. The response has been overwhelming, over two hundred writers, composers and lyricists have submitted works. In the midst of Covid, the Ghostlight crew were able to rehearse, direct and film six in-person productions without a single staff member of over 100 falling ill. Obsidian, produced in the city of Detroit by the Detroiters, is a celebration of black stories that will highlight the prolific work of emerging black voices, focusing on the vast array of diverse experiences of those in the African diaspora in America. New this year, the festival will be broadcast live to several venues in downtown Detroit.
“Our first season was such a hit with viewers around the world. But this festival is only as strong as the team that produces it. And we have some of the best theater and film professionals in the country working to uplift black stories. “
Visit www.obsidianfest.org for ongoing festival announcements and program updates.