Carpetbag Theatre presents new work

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. is pleased to present, Cultural Odyssey’s Rhodessa! Fully Awake Facing Seventy “Heaven Betta Bea Honky Tonk!”, a performance that directly addresses aging, growing old with dignity and security. Performances are Friday, May 19, 2017 and Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 7:30PM at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, 1927 Dandridge Ave, Knoxville, Tennessee. Tickets are available in advance for $15 at and/or $20 at the door.

This is the third performance series presented by CBT in which Cultural Odyssey’s internationally renowned storytelling and cultural rhythms are shared with East Tennessee audiences. Carpetbag Theatre first presented Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women at the University of Tennessee’s Clarence Brown Theatre. Carpetbag Theatre brought Cultural Odyssey back to Knoxville during its 40th Anniversary Celebration as a part of the National Performance Network’s Annual meeting. They collaborated with Women of Calypso (international calypso artists from Trinidad/Tobago) in a performance presented at the Emporium Center in Knoxville.

About Cultural Odyssey

In 1979, Executive/Co-artistic Director Idris Ackamoor founded San Francisco based, Cultural Odyssey as an organization that combined music, theater and dance into a unified whole, that was responsive to the needs of the community. He was soon joined by acclaimed actress, teacher, director and writer Rhodessa Jones as Co-
artistic Director in 1983. Since then, the duo has toured nationally and internationally, visiting various places around the world, using original works as “Art as Social Activism.” The pair have received numerous accolades including the 2016 Theatre Bay Area Legacy Award, Ms. Jones’s appointment as an Arts Envoy by The U.S. Department of State, Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau and Mr. Ackamoor’s Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Gilles Peterson at the Worldwide Awards in London. They have collaborated with nationally renowned artists such as choreographer Bill T. Jones, the late artist Keith Haring, writers Pearl Cleage and Ntozake Shange, and tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman.

About The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc

The Carpetbag Theatre is a Professional African American Legacy Theater company with a rich history of service to diverse populations. For 47 years, (CBT) has shared history, storytelling, artistic training, performances, and has established partnerships with other organizations that are using “Art as Social Activism.” As an intergenerational ensemble company, our efforts to engage communities of Color and other disenfranchised communities have been constant. An ensemble company both artistically and administratively, CBT works collaboratively to fulfill the mission, to build communities and to develop social capital, emphasizing inclusion and cross-cultural dialogue.

The mission is 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. Finding voice is not simply storytelling; it reveals an individual’s power to make change in their own lives and the lives of their community. The Carpetbag Theatre’s curatorial practice is rooted in these principles, selecting work that exemplifies an aesthetic that is inclusive and meets that standard of excellence.

For more information about The Carpetbag Theatre, call 865-544-0447 or visit

This performance is presented in partnership with the Beck Cultural Exchange Center.

The National Performance Network is a group of cultural organizers and artists facilitating the practice and public experience of the performing arts in the United States. NPN serves artists, arts organizers, and a broad range of audiences and communities across the country through commissions, residencies, culture-centers community projects and other artistic activities. For more information: