CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new local theatre and performance group is gaining steam, having met this weekend for the first in a series of playwrighting workshops and rehearsals culminating in performances scheduled for this summer.

The Carolinas Pride Theatre Ensemble is a member of the Pride Youth Theatre Alliance and a project of the Freedom Center for Social Justice. They’ve also partnered with the PowerHouse Project and recently received a $15,000 grant from the Mukti Fund.

The group made its initial debut at PowerHouse Project’s Dancing for Life event in March.

Organizers of the program say it is helping to give voice to a wide diversity of people, including those who are people of color, economically challenged, LGBT individuals and allies, immigrants, women and the physically challenged.

“What touches me is how the individuals involved are finding their self-esteem and their talents to give and they are in turn putting feelings into production that will assist our community in creating dialogue about challenging social justice issues of the day,” Freedom Center for Social Justice Program Manager Norena Gutierrez said in an email.

The ensemble is still holding open casting calls. Those interested should contact Gutierrez at 980-729-8454 or ngutierrez@fcsj.org.

Future practices and rehearsals are scheduled each month in May, June, July and August. Performances are currently slated for Charlotte Black Gay Pride’s Black Tie Gala on July 11 and the group’s Expo on July 18. The group also hopes to perform during Charlotte Pride, Aug. 15-16.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.