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The Local Takes Talks 10th Annual Atlanta Black Theatre Festival

Saturday morning on WCLK's The Local Take, I spoke with Toni Simmons Henson, founder of The Atlanta Black  Theatre Festival, celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. The festival has made accommodations for the Pandemic and invites theatre lovers to enjoy the event on October 29th at the downtown Hilton and on October 30th Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre. Henson refers to Saturday night’s offering as an evening of theatre and music under the stars. 

I ask Henson to share how her community has fared in the Pandemic before she shares the details of this year’s festival. 

She tells us about the workshops and panel discussions on Friday, October 29th, including The Local Take Town Hall featuring Professor Monica White Ndounou and Camille Love to discuss why it is so difficult for Black creatives to receive funding from individuals and institutions. 

Simmons also speaks about the Dr. Doris Derby Collegiate Monologue Competition for young people. There will also be a Black To The Future Soiree. The four shows at Mapel House Barnes Amphitheatre allow folks to enjoy theatre under the stars.  I asked who should attend this year’s festival, and she shared that the theme is “Grown and Sexy” this year.

She passionately expresses that African Americans must have control over our own narratives.

The festival has grown beyond Atlanta, and a partnership with the National Theatre of Ghana will host a delegation of 36 artists before the end of the year.


  Simmons tapped into her alter ego Toni X and released an Amazon Bestseller:Let it Go: Queens

Simmon's alter ego Toni X wrote an Amazon Bestseller Let It Go! Produced as a one woman play in Paris and New York

Gotta S#!+, Too! Mastering the Art of Reclaiming Your Queendom. The story became a one-woman show produced in Paris and New York. It heads to the Whitefire Solo Theatre Festival in Los Angeles in 2022. 

For more information about the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival

For the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival Schedule

For more information about the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival trip to Ghana