Celebrate the rich and diverse season of African-American theater in the Triangle on Jan. 15 at Raleigh Little Theatre at 6:30 p.m. The Triangle Friends of African American Arts is bringing together several performing arts organizations to showcase what performances are coming in 2017 that feature African-Americans. There will be preview pieces of several upcoming performances.

The event is the brainchild of Sherri Holmes, founder and director of Triangle Friends of African American Arts. Holmes said she looked at the calendar and saw so many productions that a preview was necessary. “In the Triangle this season there is a record number of African-American plays and musicals, and even an African-American opera,” she said. “We hope our preview event will increase community awareness and participation in African-American theater. We want every season to be this diverse and to create wonderful opportunities for African-American performers, directors, playwrights and audiences.”

Raleigh Little Theatre volunteered to host the event, and Executive Director Charles Phaneuf feels events like this will allow us to get to know fellow members of the community. “One of the greatest things that we can do in the arts is to help our audiences build empathy for people who are unlike themselves,” he said. “I hope that this preview event will get people from a variety of backgrounds in a space together to hear compelling stories from talented performers and to see the world from a different point of view.”

The evening will include dramatic readings, songs and commentaries from playwrights. Admission is free, but please register at africanamericanarts.org. The reception, sponsored by ArtsNowNC, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the performances shortly after.

The featured performing arts organizations include:

Raleigh Little Theatre

PlayMakers Repertory Company

The Justice Theater Project

Burning Coal Theatre Company

Theatre in the Park

Manbites Dog Theater

Theatre Raleigh

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