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ILI Alum Event: COVID Stories: When the Hugs Went Away

COVID Stories with image of person with mask

Check out the new work by #ILIAlumni Jonathan Clark! The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. Re-Emerges from the Global Pandemic with an Original Virtual Production, COVID Stories: When the Hugs Went Away. Reserve Free Tickets here: #thisiswhatleadershiplookslike


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. Re-Emerges from the Global Pandemic with an Original Virtual Production, COVID Stories: When the Hugs Went Away

Shortly after the illustrious Linda Parris-Bailey retired from her 40+ year role as Executive/Artistic Director of The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. and passed the torch to her successor, Jonathan “Courageous” Clark, the world came to a screeching halt. Society seemed to be in complete disarray and Jonathan felt it was in the best interest of his staff’s physical and mental health to stay home from the office and take a break from work. 

After 16 months of global panic, local sickness and loss, regular small group check ins, and much more, Carpetbag has returned, with the support of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, to fulfill its artistic vision of revealing, reframing, and reclaiming the hidden stories of the effects of Covid-19 on Black Knoxvillians – the most heavily impacted group in the city according to statistics. Carpetbag Theatre has spent the past 12 weeks with an ensemble of 5 dynamic performers gathering stories and experiences of local community members and transforming those accounts into a powerfully thought-provoking piece, exploring the harsh realities of life as a Black Knoxvillian, along with the joy, heartache, laughter, and resilience we’ve found along the way.

Written by Executive/Artistic Director Jonathan Clark, and Carpetbag Ensemble Members;  Will Dorsey, Brandon Gibson, Chelsea Haynes, and Kisha Rockett, this virtual production is certain to educate and entertain, while we honor the memories of those lives lost during this pandemic to gun violence, negligence, police brutality, and this novel and deadly Coronavirus.

After the performances, there will be talkback sessions in which audiences will have the opportunity to hear the thoughts of the Carpetbag Ensemble on the production.

  • Where: Zoom

  • When: Thursday, June 17th & Friday, June 18th at 7:30pm

  • Cost: 

About Carpetbag Theatre

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. was founded in 1969 and chartered in 1970.  We are a Knoxville-based professional, multi-generational ensemble company dedicated to the production of new works.  We work in partnership with community artists, activists, cultural workers, storytellers, and leaders to create original, theatrical works.  Our mission is to give artistic voice to the issues and dreams of people who have been silenced by racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and other forms of oppression.