INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “Onyx Fest Indy” reports the most successful season in its 12-year history. It showcases powerful work dealing with societal issues told by black Hoosier playwrights whose stories hit the stage for the Onyx Fest Fall 2022.
Several playwrights, actors, and creatives contributed to the success of showcasing black storytelling on the stage. The Africana Repertory Theater at IUPUI presented the event with six plays over three days in November 2022.
In January it reported that Onyx Fest produced more than $14,000 in ticket sales. In addition, its attendance increased by 63% compared to 2021. It also had 1,164 people who went to see the plays, plus three sold-out shows. The event was able to hire several local actors as well.
The festival’s Executive Director, Vernon William’s told News 8 that the results are a reminder of the need for a platform in our community to share black stories. “It is just gratifying when you see it exceeds even good expectations. To sell out audiences and see tickets moving the way they did was particularly gratifying,” said Williams.
Williams says some popular shows included ‘Black is my color’ by Celeste Williams and ‘You love will be judged’ by Gabrielle Patterson. “Both of them brought very strong performances to the stage, said Williams.” He added that ‘Your Love will be judged’ will be featured during Indy Fringe Festival in 2023.
Onyx Fest is now open for playwright submissions for the 2023 Onyx fest in November. Submissions must be an unproduced one-act play in 45 minutes to an hour. The story must pertain to the black culture or experience that profoundly involves black characters. The playwright must also be from the Greater Indianapolis area and the state.
The organization will air all the play from its winter 2022 season on the Butler University Entertainment and Arts Center platform.