what is the atlanta Black Theatre Festival?

Atlanta Black Theatre Festival (ABTF)

The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival is the nation's largest self-producing platform for Afro-centric theatre under one roof!


Each year the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival presents a curated selection of world-class theatre sharing the most incredible heartwarming stories of African descendants from across the diaspora.  The event schedule is filled with large selection of live theatre, shopping, dining, parties, a gallery exhibit and more. 


Festival of 40 Plays in Four Days!

Popularly known as the festival of "40 plays in four days", it is repeatedly listed among the favorite events in Atlanta! 

The ABTF was recently listed as:

  • "5 Top Theatre Festivals to Visit Around the World" by TopTenZilla.com
  • "Best Fall Festivals" by MyAJC.com
  • "Can't Miss Fall Festivals" by the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • "5 Dope Events You Must Check Out in Atlanta" by Blavity.com
  • "Best Family Friendly Festivals You Must Check Out this Fall" by 11alive.com
  • "Top 5 Event Picks for October" by AtlantaMagazine.com

Home of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival: Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center

Where Black Theatre Thrives!

Since 2012, the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival has presented over 300 live events to thousands of art enthusiasts.  Over 125 playwrights from the African diaspora have found a platform to 

present their works here. 

Join us if you love black theatre! All the magic happens conveniently under one roof at the magnificent Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center located at 3181 Rainbow Drive in historic Decatur, GA (less than 10 miles from downtown Atlanta)!

Atlanta Black Theatre Festival 2016

A World-Class Theatre Experience!

Our diverse line-up of artists are drawn from around the corner to around the globe.  The ABTF platform has provided performance opportunities for over 1,800 of the most prolific literary, visual and performing artists of our time. So many have graced our stages with classic revivals and original works and moved on to win awards and receive career changing recognition. 

The Festival is held annually in October and feels more like a family reunion than an arts festival.  We guarantee if you experience the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival once, it is sure to become one of your favorite things to do in Atlanta!  

what is black theatre?

A rare interview with the American Theatre Hall of Fame Inductee, Woodie King, Jr. by Itz Black Theatre Magazine reporter, Calvin Anderson. 

Mr. King was on location at the 2014 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival. He was headed to an early morning rehearsal of The Dutchman by Amira Baraka, directed by himself. Later that evening, he received the ABTF Theatre Legend Award. Listen and enjoy! 


Atlanta Black Theatre Festival 2014

Our Mission:

The mission of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival is to connect people and build communities through rich artistic experiences.   



Atlanta Black Theatre Festival 2016

Our Prime Aim is to:

  • change the narrative by revealing the truth of our history and our contributions to civilization, arts and culture;  
  • create and expand opportunities for emerging and seasoned artists of color;
  • engage and enlighten the next generation;  
  • contribute and build the cultural and capital economies of the community we serve. 



Daud Haseeb, Guide Right Director (2013 -17) LDAC Alumni (GA) Chapter Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity sa

"What an experience the Atlanta Black Theater Festival has provided our organization.  We have been taking our young men for the past 3 years, and each year the experience has been wonderful.  Exposing our young men to the Arts, providing them with new experiences has been great.

Every play that we have attended has been in line with many of the topics and events that effects our young men.  We will continue to visit the ABTF every year, seeing the best of the best that they have to offer.  Keep up the great work!"

Betty M. Buttram of Atlanta says...

 "The ABTF is a professional organization that is managed by an excellent staff. I wasn't disappointed in anything and the plays were outstanding."  

Rory Sherriff of North Carolina says...

"BNS Productions was excited and pleased with our first experience at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival in 2016. The staff was very helpful, the networking was amazing and the workshops were super helpful to both the staff and cast members."