Campus community encouraged to support Onyxfest
By Tia Broz
October 25, 2022
Six original plays written and produced by local artists will take the stage Nov. 3 to 6 at the IndyFringe Basile Theatre in downtown Indianapolis and Nov. 10 to 12 at the IUPUI Campus Center Theater as part of OnyxFest 2022.
Onyxfest is the only theater festival in Indiana exclusively for Black playwrights. The event is presented by the Africana Repertory Theatre, IU School of Liberal Arts, IU School of Education and Office of Community Engagement, all at IUPUI.
“OnyxFest is a great example of IUPUI schools and offices lending their support to help amplify voices that are too often suppressed or marginalized due to a lack of safe spaces and systemic barriers,” said festival executive producer Vernon A. Williams, IUPUI communication and community engagement strategist.
In addition to showcasing playwrights, the festival exposes students to a variety of theater-related professionals — such as actors, set builders, lighting directors and sound technicians — who play a pivotal role in taking a production from script to stage. The goal is to involve student interns and volunteers in Africana Repertory Theatre at IUPUI programs.
Regina Turner, associate faculty in communication studies in the School of Liberal Arts, orchestrates student campus-community performance projects and is the cornerstone of the panel of jurors that selects plays for OnyxFest.
“By serving as a platform for Black artists to tell their stories, the mission of OnyxFest aligns with the mission of the Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI, which is to leverage the creative and communal power of the arts as a tool for fostering community, youth empowerment and positive social transformation,” Turner said.
OnyxFest is produced in partnership with IndyFringe. The campus community is encouraged to attend.
“The authenticity of the writing, acting and storylines are compelling,” Williams said. “We hope students, faculty and staff will check out as many performances as possible because no two plays are the same.
“It’s a great opportunity to support a grassroots festival with strong IUPUI ties. Most importantly, you will be entertained by thought-provoking and original artistry.”
OnyxFest 2022 tickets are available on the event website, along with descriptions of each play, a schedule of performances and more information.
Tia Broz is a communications consultant in the Office of the Vice President for Communications and Marketing.