Part spoken word, part stand-up comedy, part TED Talk, Acting Black is a critically acclaimed 60-minute solo show created to inspire open and honest conversations about race and diversity.
Using the power of art to investigate difficult concepts Acting Black takes us to the roots of American racism and its consequences for all of us by exploring the evolution of the Black stereotype, tracing the birth of its beginning from a single individual on a specific night in Louisville, Kentucky in 1828 to the racial conflicts we still endure to this day.
Writer/performer Carlyle Brown is a playwright-artist-thinker whose body of work through the years continues to bring fresh and riveting insights into the experience of race in America. Carlyle guides audience discussion following this powerful theatrical solo performance where he encourages personal and actionable solutions.
“Acting Black investigates the social construct of race and provides a way to talk about issues in a context in which it is safe to be uncomfortable. This experience is not about guilt but about understanding.” -Audience Member
“Acting Black is not really a play. The prolific Brown has written and performed in plays for one actor, in which he takes on characters and puts himself in a narrative context. Not this time. In the first half of Acting Black, Brown appears as a lecturer, using a PowerPoint presentation to explain the notion of “acting black,” its origins, as framed by the entertainment industry, and the scars it has caused and continues to inflect on American society. His lecture is performed without notes, very polished, laced with humor, anecdotes and descriptive imagery, but the man on stage is not playing a character—he is quite himself, speaking directly to us, the audience.” -Arthur Dorman, Talkin’ Broadway