OnyxFest 2021

A Soulful Mosaic of Black Life on Stage


October 7, 8, 9, 10

District & Basile Theatres


October 14, 15, 16

IUPUI Campus Theatre

*Call Out For Actors Now Open!

Casting Call

1200 Miles from Jerome

Edna Franklin: African American Female, Age Range: 30-45 (character is 35 years old but looks older)

Miss Connie Noble: African American Female, Age Range: 20s-30s

Maggie Franklin: African American Female, Age Range: 18yrs-20s (character is 15 years old, actress must look young and be able to play young)

Annie Mae Franklin: African American Female: Age Range: 18yrs-20s (character is 12 years old, actress must look young and be able to play young)

Adam Sato: Asian American Male, Age Range: 18yrs-20s (character is 14 years old,actor must look young and be able to play young)

That Day in February

BROTHER: The protagonist is a fierce protector of his sisters. His is conflicted about his own identity as a man relating to how he compares to his father; a man who is both loved and hated by him. Character should be in his early 30’s. Should have the ability to look noticeably young for flashbacks. Ideal character can transition between emotions easily with the ability be strong and vulnerable.

SISTER: The middle child who struggles with guilt from her childhood she believes may have prevented her mother’s death. Character should be in her late 20’s with the ability to look young for flashbacks. Ideal character is a strong, motherly type who believes in forgiveness.

BABY GIRL: The youngest child is a teenager struggling with getting to know a father who murdered her mother when she was only two years old. She misses the relationship with both parents and fights to be heard in a family controlled by a brother and sister who both knew their parents. Character should be at least 18 years old, should looks young, but mature. She should have the ability to display the emotions of a teenager who is teetering on the edge of adulthood.

This Bitter Cup

Black Female, 30-50, motherly, strong yet soft

Black Female, looks 18, smart and compassionate

Black Male, 30-50, strong but stubborn

Black Male, 20s, has big dreams

Black Male, (supporting role) 20s, a real man

Fly Blackbird Fly—Voices We Can’t Unhear

Fully cast.

Meet the Playwrights

1200 Miles from Jerome

Crystal V. Rhodes

Crystal V. Rhodes is an award-winning playwright and author.  She has served as Playwright in Residence for the Connor Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, Indiana, and she is a 2019-2020 recipient of the Indiana Arts Council’s Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship for 2019-2021.

About the play:

In the 1940s during World War II, a mother, her two daughters, a young school teacher and a fourteen- year-old Japanese American fugitive from an internment camp are forced to leave the town of Jerome, Arkansas and flee over 1200 miles to New York City. The journey is filled with danger, one that could prove to be a daunting experience, in which “driving while black” could mean the difference between life and death.

Fly Blackbird Fly—Voices We Can’t Unhear

Ms. Latrice Young

Ms. Latrice Young, also known as Distinctly Unique, is a choreo-poet, ghost writer, voice actor, private ESL instructor and Creator/Manager of Dunique LLC. from East Chicago and Gary Indiana. She graduated from Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High School in 2014 as Class Poet and Valedictorian and she graduated from Purdue University- West Lafayette as a Creative Writing major with minors in African-American Studies, Communication, Dance, Spanish, & Theater.

About the play | A choreopoem:

A choreopoem recounting traumatic experiences of several Black women. Each woman is at her breaking point and desperately wants to escape the cages they’re in, but this can only happen if they’re willing to relax, relate, and release.

That Day in February

Janice Morris Neal
Janice Morris Neal

Janice Morris Neal is new to the Indiana playwright circuit. Since taking her first class at the Indiana Writers Center and joining a critique group through Indiana Playwright Circle she has written nearly 20 short plays and one full length.

About the play:

Three black children now adults are faced with the possibility of their father being paroled after killing their mother 16 years ago. The youngest – now 18 – doesn’t remember her father or that day and wants to meet with him against her siblings wishes. One decision could change the lives of everyone involved.

This Bitter Cup

Charla Booth
Charla Booth

Charla Booth has spent the past forty years bringing other individual’s stories to life as a professional theatre director, classroom speech, education professions, and theatre instructor (Gary Emerson School for the Visual & Performing Arts and Broad Ripple Magnet School for the Arts & Humanities), lighting designer and engineer for both dance and stage, book researcher and editor, elocution coach, liturgical dancer, mime, voice over artist, and children’s acting coach for both television and film. She published her first book, a salutary for tweens in 2019 following an exclusive release of one of her short stories in a national magazine.

About the play:

A Black family in the rural south in the 1950’s struggle to find balance in their lives. A son who wants an education to rise above the limitations of the old south and a daughter whose dreams are thwarted by being Black and a woman and loved by the wrong man. A complicated entanglement that leaves us wondering if this family can find peace.

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