By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Jun 15, 2022 at 5:01 AM

Good news, Milwaukee. Black Arts MKE will host the third annual Milwaukee Black Theater Festival Aug. 10-14 at various venues across the city.

“For the first time, the festival will be held across multiple venues in an effort to expose more of the artistic and cultural activity produced by Milwaukee-based Black artists,” says Cory Nettles, Board Chair.

The week-long celebration of Black arts and culture features free and ticketed events throughout each day, including plays, an R&B and Gospel fundraiser concert, spoken word and dance performances, and talk-back and panel discussions.

This year’s theme is "The Black Family: Generations Speak!" The focus is on facing community challenges and encouraging people to come together now to celebrate Black theater, healing and unity.

“We’re proud to produce Milwaukee Black Theater Festival to share more of our stories and put a spotlight on emerging young Black playwrights and professional theater organizations," says Nettles.

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Venues include Marcus Performing Arts Center, St. Ann Center Indaba Community Band Shell, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center and The Table Vocational Center.

 Milwaukee Black Theater Festival events include:

  • Two theatrical world premieres produced by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble: "Milwaukee Voices of Gun Violence" by Sheri Williams Pannell and "Khloe’s Beautiful Blues" staged reading by La’Ketta Caldwell
  • Theatrical production of "Hidden Heroes" by Shà Cage
  • Youth & Family Night with preview performances from several collaborating BIPOC youth theater and dance organizations including First Stage, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Next Act Theatre and Signature Dance Company
  • Staged reading by Malaina Moore, an emerging young MKE-based Black playwright
  • Family Reunion Concert Fundraiser produced by Antoine Reynolds and featuring Milwaukee R&B and Gospel artists and musicians
  • Milwaukee Black Theater Community, Let’s Talk! including a History of Milwaukee Black Theater, moderated panel discussion and an Adolphus Ward Scholarship presentation 
  • Healing Through the Arts Showcase performances presented by several artists and survivors as portrayed in Milwaukee Voices of Gun Violence

“We’re honoring the Black Family during the third year of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival which provides an opportunity to tell stories which entertain us while sharing our history, exploring our challenges, uniting our generations and celebrating our beauty," says Sheri Williams Pannell, co-founder Milwaukee Black Theatre Festival and Bronzeville Arts Ensemble producing artistic director. 

More information about this festival go here.


Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.