“BLACK OUT felt like being transported to some new place in the future, where this was a standard, not a possibility.”

What is a Black Out?

A BLACK OUT is the purposeful creation of an environment in which an all-Black-identifying audience can experience and discuss an event in the performing arts, film, athletic, and cultural spaces – free from the white gaze.

A concept birthed by Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris, the inaugural BLACK OUT night took place on September 18, 2019. For the first time in history, all 804 seats of Broadway’s Golden Theatre were occupied by Black-identifying audience members in communion, celebration, and recognition of Broadway’s rich, diverse, and fraught history of Black work. Based on the success of the first BLACK OUT, Slave Play hosted a second BLACK OUT on January 8, 2020, to bookend its Broadway run. Since then, other BLACK OUT events have organically taken hold. It is our hope and intention that this site inspires, facilitates, and informs future BLACK OUT events and, in the words of Harris, that “this outreach will snowball into more representation of Black bodies, both onstage and off.”

HOW TO BLACK OUT YOUR EVENT

In the weeks and months following our first BLACK OUT, we received many questions from individuals and organizations as to how we produced our BLACK OUT nights. The following are some of the most common questions. If we can provide any additional information, please feel free to reach out to us HERE.

How did you make it clear that the performance was for Black-identifying individuals?

Both of Slave Play’s BLACK OUT performances were private, invitation-only events. They were taken off-sale, and tickets were only available for purchase using a special code. This code was sent to organizations, student groups, and communities identified by our PR firm, The Chamber Group; our promoter, ChiChi Anyanwu; and our nonprofit partners, Broadway for All and The National Black Theatre. We endeavored to include individuals and groups who may otherwise have not been able to afford to attend these performances. We worked in tandem with our partners to provide complimentary tickets in addition to our paid allocation. If you are interested in being connected with any of our partners, please email us HERE.

How did you reach out to groups?

Our PR agency, The Chamber Group, in conjunction with Broadway for All, reached out to social activist groups, such as the ACLU; college groups, such as the Black student unions at NYC colleges and universities; Black social clubs, such as Ethel’s Club; and other theatre organizations that share our mission, such as The National Black Theater.

How is this legally accomplished?

We did not prevent or preclude anyone from attending the BLACK OUT performances. While the intention of BLACK OUT was clearly to create a space for as many Black-identifying audience members as possible, nobody was turned away.

What were the price points?

We set tickets at two price points: $100 and $45. These tickets were interspersed throughout the house, providing lower-price-point access to premium seats. We chose these price points to be aligned with our accessibility initiatives and to be consistent with the pricing of our regular performances.

FIND BLACK OUTS NEAR YOU

Just as we provided a physical space for our two BLACK OUT performances at Slave Play, we are providing this virtual space to give others the tools to create their own BLACK OUT events and share these events with our community.

Check back here for future BLACK OUTS. To have your event highlighted on our BLACK OUT map below click here.

PAST BLACK OUTS

Slave Play | New York, NY | Broadway | Sept 18, 2019

Choir Boy | Boston, MA | Oct 15, 2019

Marie and Rosetta | Boston, MA | Nov 9, 2019

What to Send Up When It Goes Down | Cambridge, MA | Nov 15, 2019

Slave Play | New York, NY | Broadway | Jan 8, 2020

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