Edward Lewis Black Theater Festival

Main Library

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In celebration of Black History Month, join The City Library and People Productions for the Edward Lewis Black Theater Festival featuring reader’s theater format productions of four contemporary works.

Now in its second year, this annual festival is held in honor of Edward Lewis, a pioneer in the development of African-American theater in Utah and California. It is a great opportunity to celebrate the diverse community in Salt Lake City, and to expand the theatrical offerings in the city--highlighting new pieces from established playwrights, and the work of up and coming poets and playwrights .

Performance Schedule


Tue, Feb 19, 6:30pm, Level 4 Conference Room
The Witness
by Vivienne Franzmann
This play by Vivienne Franzmann addresses issues of guilt and dishonest actions facing a white journalist who witnesses war-zone atrocities, and adopts the child captured in one of his most famous images. The relationship between him and his daughter becomes fraught when old information about the image is unveiled. This thrilling play questions the role of journalism and our relationship with the developing world.

Wed, Feb 20, 6:30pm, Conference Rooms A&B
The Whipping Man
by Matthew Lopez
Winner of the 2011 John Gassner New Play Award from the NY Outer Critics Circle, The Whipping Man presents a challenging tale of slaves and their former master, forced to come to terms with their past relationship at the end of the American Civil War. Set during Passover, in 1865, a Jewish Confederate officer returns home to find his family missing, with only two former slaves left to care for the badly wounded man. In celebrating the freedom from bondage his ancestors experienced after centuries of slavery, Officer Caleb DeLeon is confronted with his own past of slave holding.

Sat, Feb 23, 1pm, Main Library Auditorium
Sunset Baby
by Dominique Morisseau
Sunset Baby
premiered in September of 2012 and explores the challenging relationship between a former black revolutionary and his estranged daughter after his wife’s passing. The story explores generational communication breakdowns, the way social movements and their participants effect later generations, and the effects absent fathers have on young daughters.

Shotgun
by John Biguenet
In Shotgun, the story of post-Katrina New Orleans shows that the tragedy didn’t end with the storm. Set in December 2005, families struggle to rebuild their lives and homes amid a broad range of challenges, including housing, employment, economic downfall, and historically fraught race-relations. This work is the second in a trilogy focusing on Katrina and its aftermath.

Location: Main Library

Contact Information: (801) 524-8200