Black Theatre Night

7pm, Thursday, April 6, 2023

In partnership with the Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia, Theatre in the X, WURD, and The Brothers’ Network, PTC will host its inaugural Black Theatre Night on April 6 at 7pm. This event is a free performance for the vibrant Black community of Philadelphia. It is not for sale, and is invitation only.

Black theatre performances, which originated in 2019 with Jeremy O. Harris’ Broadway hit Slave Play, have since spread to theaters in Boston, London, D.C, and now Philadelphia. As Jeremy O. Harris states, “It’s not a ‘blacks only’ theatre performance, it’s an affinity night for black audience members to rectify the decades of exclusion from theaters in their communities. This is not segregation but an attempt at radically integrating a theatre-going audience that is underserved.”

The Black Theatre Night marks the beginning of several initiatives at PTC aimed at creating a truly inclusive and radically welcoming space for our diverse audiences. While we recognize that we have a long way to go, we are committed to addressing any barriers that may have limited access to our space for historically marginalized communities. As we continue on this journey, we are excited to celebrate the rich diversity of our audiences and to work towards creating a more equitable and representative space for all.

Set in a seedy Philadelphia bar in 1959, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill offers a glimpse into one of Billie Holiday’s final performances, just four months before her passing. The production will feature some of the best jazz talents in the industry, including local jazz scarlet, Laurin Talese, in the leading role of Lady Day. Hosting the event will be Tiffany Bacon, a WURD radio host and the costume designer for the production. Following the performance, there will be a talkback led by Tiffany Bacon with Laurin Talese.

Audiences will experience every word and note of this intimate portrait of the celebrated Lady Day up close and personal, seated just a few short steps from the music and the history. The set design will create an immersive 1950s Jazz-bar experience, reminiscent of the seedy bar where Billie Holiday performed in South Philly in the 1950s. With all seats on stage, the production will offer an authentic and intimate atmosphere, transporting the audience to the world of Billie Holiday’s last performance.