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THEATER | Bronze Collective Theatre Fest


Now in its 6th year, the Bronze Collective Theater Fest is a week-long winter festival of African American theater works. This year's theme is "Moving Forward," and some of the shows offer an early look at productions Rochester audiences can see throughout the 2020 calendar. While the lineup includes something for everybody, fans of Rochester history are in luck — the festival offers combo tickets for the weekend shows about the legacy of Clarissa Street.

The festival kicks off on Monday, February 17 with "SmudgeStick Experience." Described as a blend of spoken word, storytelling, movement, and ceremony, the work stars Almeta Whitis and is directed by Dark Blue Mondaze's Gary DeWitt Marshall.

On Tuesday, February 18, {theatre}+{náfsi} returns to the MuCCC stage with "Anansi Tales: Br'er Rabbit Edition." The folklore-inspired show is aimed at a youth audience, and reprises a run at the theater in December 2019. Wednesday, the festival switches gears completely with "The Intervention." This ensemble comedy, directed by Delba Brown, is about a young man's misadventures upon returning from incarceration.

"Yesterday" is scheduled for Thursday, February 20. The coming-of-age drama is presented by R.A.P.I.E.R. theater company and directed by its writer, Grace Flores. Friday, February 21, the festival presents Ashona Pulliam's biographical "Flawed Beautifully," which debuted at last year's Rochester Fringe.

There are two shows on Saturday, February 22. Karen Culley's "Monologues on Clarissa Street" is a storytelling work about an historical hub of culture and community in Rochester. Later on, "Laugh-N-Word Show" hits the stage at 11 p.m. and combines spoken word, slam poetry, and stand-up comedy in a competitive team format.

The festival finishes on Sunday, February 23, with "Clarissa Street Reflections." This presentation includes a showing of a short film by Tina Chapman DaCosta, and a performance by the veteran jazz-funk combo Paradigm Shift.

Monday, February 17, through Saturday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 22, at 11 p.m.; Sunday, February 23, at 2 p.m. MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue. Single tickets $5 to $15, Clarissa Street package $25, weekly pass available for $49.