The 17th biennial National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) rolls out the purple carpet August 1 – 6, 2022 in Winston-Salem, transforming North Carolina’s city of arts and innovation into a mega-performing arts center with over 130 performances in a number of the city’s venues.

Theatre workshops, films, seminars, a teen poetry slam, and a star-studded celebrity gala all work together to accomplish the goal of making the National Black Theatre Festival one of the best theater festivals in the country. Celebrity co-chairs for the 2022 event are Lisa Arrindell (“Madea’s Family Reunion” and “Livin’ Large”) and Petri Hawkins-Byrd (‘Bailiff Byrd’ from “Judge Judy”).


What is NBTF?

  • The National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) is the international outreach program of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep), Winston-Salem, NC. The Festival was founded in 1989 by the Late Larry Leon Hamlin and is produced by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company.

What is the Opening Night Gala? How much does it cost? What does it include?

  • The Opening Night Gala is a star-studded black-tie international formal event held at the Benton Convention Center (301 West 5th Street) on Monday, August 1, 2022
  • Gala tickets are $275/person or $2,200 for a table seating of 8. Purchase tickets here.
  • The Opening Night Gala includes:
    • 5:30 p.m.: Awards banquet and dinner.
    • 6:30 p.m.: Celebrity co-chairs will lead a royal processional.
    • 9 p.m.: Opening Night Performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) Stevens Center.

Are tickets available for the Opening Night Performance ONLY?

  • No performance ONLY tickets will available for the Opening Night Performance.

What are the Productions?

  • Theatrical Productions– Approximately 130 performances are held during the six-day event. A dynamic collection of new works and Black classics are performed by professional Black theatre companies from around the world. Collegiate theatre is also represented through the Festival’s Fringe component. The shows are presented at multiple venues throughout Winston-Salem. Click here for the 2022 performance schedule.

How can I purchase tickets?

  • Online
  • By phone – 336.723.7907
  • NC Black Rep Office – 419 Spruce Street, Winston-Salem, NC  27101
  • Tickets are available June 6 – August 6, 2022.
  • Tickets will be available during the week of the Festival between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Benton Convention Center (301 West 5th Street). Tickets may be purchased at the production venues one hour prior to the performance depending on availability.
  • General admission tickets generally range from $10-$60.

What are Box Office hours before the week of the Festival?

  • The NBTF Box Office will be open at 419 Spruce Street from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Monday through Friday starting June 6, 2022; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays starting July 16, 2022.

Where should I pick up my Will-Call Tickets in advance?

  • During the week of the Festival, all Will-Call Tickets may be picked up between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Benton Convention Center.

What Festival Activities are Free?

  • Garland Thompson, Sr. Readers’ Theatre of New Works– A showcase of original works written and read by renowned and aspiring artists for an audience of theatre professionals and the general public.
  • International Colloquium – This is a collaborative effort between NBTF, Winston-Salem State University, and the Black Theatre Network. The two-day forum, August 4-5, is facilitated by international theatre professionals and academicians.
  • International Vendors Market – This is the place to be when the shows are over. Join vendors representing all corners of the globe juxtaposed with sponsor booths. Live entertainment adds to personal shopping pleasure. The Vendors Market will be open August 3 – 6 at the Benton Convention Center. For more information, contact Vendor Coordinator, Rhonda Caldwell at 704.332.5819.
  • National Black Film Fest – This is a showcase of work from independent filmmakers.
  • TeenTastic (Collaborative Youth Initiative)– Focuses on providing teens ages 13-17 with Marvtastic experiences developed to capture the talent and creativity of this generation and motivate them to excel in their areas of interest.
  • Workshops and seminars are facilitated by celebrities, academicians, and theatre professionals. Check information desks for workshop schedules.
  • Youth Celebrity Project– Children interact with celebrities and theatre professionals, attend age-appropriate productions, and have the opportunity to perform.

Are there any special offers during the Festival?

Our local attractions, restaurants, bakeries, and retailers have partnered to offer Festival attendees Marvtastic specials and VIP offers and events throughout Festival week. Here’s your link to look at our:  MARVTASTIC SPECIAL OFFERS

*Please show your NBTF performance ticket stub or playbill to redeem exclusive offers.*


Where is the nearest airport? 

  • Piedmont Triad International (GSO) – is located approximately 17 miles from downtown Winston-Salem.

Are there other airports in the area? 

  • Charlotte International Airport (CLT) – is located approximately 86 miles from downtown Winston-Salem.
  • Raleigh/Durham (RDU) – is located approximately 93 miles from downtown Winston-Salem.

Where is the nearest Amtrak train station?

  • High Point – Located approximately 24 miles from downtown Winston-Salem. Amtrak Service has a free shuttle service that transports to Winston-Salem from High Point.

Does the NBTF provide transportation from the airport to NBTF hotels?

  • No, however, the airport provides shuttles to hotels. Contact your hotel for this request.

Is there transportation from the hotels to the performances?

  • Yes, transportation will be available to theatre venues from designated Festival hotels, August 2–6, 2022. Bus schedules will be available at NBTF hotel lobbies.
  • There is no cost for this transportation.

What are the closest dining options to the Festival?

  • View our downtown dining guide here.

What other events or tours are planned in conjunction with NBTF?

Are there any volunteer opportunities available?  

  • Yes, the NBTF utilizes over 1,500 volunteers. Complete the volunteer application online here.

Does NBTF have a website and can a Schedule of Events be found there?

  • Yes, click here for the 2022 performance schedule.

What are the official NBTF hotels?

  • NBTF special hotel rates are SOLD OUT.
    However, please search HERE for additional hotel options and availability.

For additional information call 336.723.2266; fax 336.723.2223; email [email protected], or go to


The proud home of the NBTF, Winston-Salem offers a myriad of family-friendly attractions, over 500 diverse dining options, vibrant nightlife and entertainment, and much more!

Plan your Marvtastic getaway today!

Have questions on what to see and do in Winston-Salem, or need more information?
Stop in our Visitor Center (200 Brookstown Ave., Winston-Salem, NC, 27101) or call one of our knowledgeable visitor information specialists at 336.728.4200. Our staff is happy to assist you Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.