(Writ)ual Mix: Traditions of the Diaspora, Atlantic Theater Company's 2023 iteration of its free reading series The Judith Champion MixFest, will run August 7-16 at Atlantic's Stage 2. Co-curated by theatre artists Daaimah Mubashshir, NSangou Njikam, and Awoye Timpo, the festival will present readings of full-length plays by Diane Exavier, Daaimah Mubashshir, NSangou Njikam, and a.k. payne, as well as a collection of short one-acts.
The festival will launch with a panel August 7 at 7 PM titled ROOTS, RHYME, and REASON: Traditions of Black Storytelling. Dr. Sybil R. Williams will moderate the group panel. Following will be full-length readings of a.k. payne's BURNBABYBURN: an american dream (August 8); Diane Exavier's Good Blood (August 9); NSangou Njikam's A Freeky Introduction (August 15); and Daaimah Mubashshir's Lifting Weight (August 16). All will be presented at 7 PM.
For the evening of one-acts, Atlantic Theater Company commissioned Dennis A. Allen II, Keelay Gipson, Amina Henry, Goldie E. Patrick, and Liza Jessie Peterson. The August 14 evening of works will begin at 7 PM.
Mubashshir explained, “For 200 years Theatre of the African Diaspora have expanded a communal ritualistic tradition for the purpose of witnessing, revitalization, and persisting in the quest for freedom. These works embody multitudes of experiences and political viewpoints, thus eschewing reification of Blackness in content and form. In MixFest 2023, we will showcase a set of theatre works that demonstrates the multiplicity of Theatre of the African Diaspora.”
Njikam added, "Theatre of the African Diaspora is rooted in the tenets also found in ritual: the restoration of balance, the transformation of one's self into something even better, and a relationship with Higher Powers to fulfill one's destiny. Now more than ever, Destiny is a question amongst theatre makers around the country. This MixFest does not just provide an exploration of tradition. It may indeed provide the answer to the future of theatre overall."
Timpo concluded, “This year’s festival connects the legacy of these theatre traditions to the visionary and inspiring work of contemporary writers. Their work is bold, time-bending, sometimes poetic and always transformative.”
RSVP at AtlanticTheater.org.