The Carpetbag Theatre, a Knoxville-based regional theatre company, will be awarded Theatre Longevity Award at the upcoming 2015 National Black Theatre Festival, Aug. 3-8, 2015, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The award is for contributions to Black and American Theatre for over 40 years. Executive/Artistic Director Linda Parris-Bailey was also awarded the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Doris Duke Artist Award.
The Doris Duke Artist Awards program supports individual artists in contemporary dance, theatre and jazz. Each recipient of a Doris Duke Artist Award receives $275,000 and opportunity to participate in professional development activities, financial and legal counseling, and regional gatherings—all designed to help them personalize and maximize the use of their grants.
Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, said, “We are tremendously proud to announce to the world the fourth class of Doris Duke Artists. This year’s class is particularly notable for their collective, strong and consistent commitment to touring and working in multiple communities, enabling them to have enormous impact on artists and audiences in every corner of the country. We are thrilled to recognize the accomplishments of such an influential and talented set of artists, and to make a substantial investment in their continuing work and well-being as they forge into the future.”
The Carpetbag Theatre, founded in 1969 and chartered in 1970, is a professional, multigenerational ensemble company dedicated to the production of new works with the mission to give artistic voice to the issues and dreams of people who have been silenced by racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and other forms of oppression.
CBT serves communities by returning their stories to them with honesty, dignity, and concern for the aesthetic of that particular community, helping culturally specific communities to re-define how they organize.
The company works in partnership with other community artists, activists, cultural workers, storytellers, leaders and people who are simply concerned, creating original works through collaboration in a style based in storytelling and song.
Linda Parris-Bailey’s works are primarily story-based plays with music focusing on themes of transformation and empowerment. The October premier of her most recent work, Speed Killed My Cousin, was featured as the opening event of the Network of Ensemble Theaters’ Micro-Fest in Appalachia. “Speed” has received a 2014 New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), National Theater Project Award. Her play, Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens is considered the company’s signature work and continues to tour and be produced nationally.