Officials with the National Black Theatre Festival, an event that draws thousands from all over the world, announced their plans for the group’s 20th anniversary this year.
Actor, director, author and event co-chair Ted Lange, known to many as Isaac on “The Love Boat,” said the event draws performers from all over the nation.
“That’s the beauty of what we do here: if you can’t get to New York, if you can’t get to Florida, if you can’t get to the Midwest, California, it all comes here,” he said.
This will be the second festival held without founder and guiding force Larry Leon Hamlin, who died in 2007 at age 58.
“It cannot be denied that Larry Leon Hamlin helped to put this city on the map,” Winston-Salem Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Burke said.
The Black Theatre Festival’s been held very other year since 1989. This year will also mark the 30th anniversary of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, the associated organization that was also founded by Hamlin.
The festival is a big boost for the city’s economy. Some 60,000 people are expected to return this year.