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Black History Festival

The month of February was chosen to celebrate Black history because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass celebrate their birthdays in that month.

In 2021, Stage Door Productions will celebrate Black History Month with performances of poetry, songs, and personal stories. Join the celebration and watch history unfold.

Runs February 12 - 21.

Cost is $16/per household.


Bev Harris--Festival Host, "Still I Rise"

Author, mentor, educator, and entrepreneur Beverly Harris grew up in coastal Virginia and now splits her time living between Fairfax, Virginia and Los Angeles, California.

After a successful career in public service that spanned two decades; where she developed award winning training for defense agencies, Bev moved on to become a children’s book author. She has written five very popular books and has plans to release two new books this year. She has also recently developed and released her first educational mobile game APP for early learners. When she is not writing or working on other projects, Bev enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening, and photography.

Alinda Coats--"Alone" by Maya Angelou

At the age of 10, I was asked to sing a German Christmas song before the entire student body. From there I performed in choirs, singing competitions and an extra in movies filmed in Chicago. I am currently writing two books and have just begun a new social awareness group in Fredericksburg, VA. My days are always filled with laughter by watching my four dogs run around the house trying to have conversations with me. The best word of advice I live by is from my mother who always said “Stay Low and Keep Moving”.

Curtis Symonds--Future History Maker/CEO of HBCU GO TV

Market-savvy CEO dedicated to driving customer satisfaction and product visibility through highly-targeted online and offline marketing strategies. Experienced in public relations, relationship building and management. Results-oriented sales, marketing and fundraising professional bringing more than 25 years of wide-ranging experience executing measurable marketing campaigns for fast-paced organizations. Successful in driving membership, traffic and revenue.

Dulanda Saintcyr--"For the Souls with Different Tones"

Dulanda Saintcyr (she/her) is a nineteen year old writer, activist, and student at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is studying Political Science and African American Studies as a Dean’s Scholar. Her strong interest in social justice and activism resulted in her self publishing of For the Souls with Different Tones (2018). The novel details societal issues that plague the Black community and encourages readers to strive for equality.

Check out her book on Amazon!

Frank White--"Female Black History Down Through the Years"

I have been writing poetry ever since I was a kid. I have written over 100 poems. Only a couple of them have been published in local publications. People have been telling me that I should have them published in a book or in some other means. I am not up on book publishing so in order for me to do something like that, I would need an agent or someone who is more knowledgeable than I am to assist me in this regard. Thanks again I am looking forward to viewing the program. Let me explain some of the terminology in my poem:

Ain’ pronounced ANN was a term we used back in the day for Aunt. A Training School was a term used in the South back in the day to differentiate Negro Schools from White Schools. Before Ralph Bunche in King George County which was built in 1949, Negroes graduated from King George Training School. My wife graduated from Caswell County Training School in North Carolina in 1959. Up until the mid-sixties county people both Black and White had babies delivered at home by midwives. Most of those midwives were Black. If you google Gladys White Jordan you will discover that she was the first known Black to apply to Mary Washington College when she graduated from High School in 1956. She graduated from Walker-Grant High School in Fredericksburg. Although there was not any indication of Race on the application, it did not take a rocket scientist to realize what her Race was because James Monroe High School was the school that White kids attended living in Fredericksburg. After Stafford kids attained a certain grade, they were bused to Walker-Grant in Fredericksburg.

Jaedyn Green--Black History Month Poem

Jaedyn is fifteen years old and in the tenth grade. She has participated in the following Activities:

Soccer – Age 5 to present

Delta Sigma Theta Jabberwock – Age 8

Church Choir – Age 5 to present

Girl Scouts – Age 9 to Present

School Choir – Age 11 to 13

Perfect Attendance – 8 Years

Jaedyn enjoys music and loves to sing.

Jorja Green--Black History Month Poem

Jorja is ten years old and in the fifth grade. She has participated in the following Activities:

Soccer – Age 5 to present

Church Choir – Age 5 to present

Girl Scouts – Age 5 to Present

Jorja enjoys dancing and being around her family.

Joyce Austin--"Father Can You Hear Me"

Karisa Quarker--Guest Speaker/Personal Story

Karisa Quarker is a native of Freemanville, Alabama. She attended one of Alabama's finest HBCU's Alabama State University and studied Finance. She currently resides in Fort Washington, Maryland where she is a personal banker. She aspires to work in the arts focusing on acting and possibly directing.

Kervin Brown--"A Change is Going to Come" by Sam Cook

Kervin L. Brown, musician, singer, songwriter and producer, is the founder of Shofar Music Group, a studio & production agency. Because he grew up in a Christian home where both parents were ministers of the Gospel, Brown's musical background has roots in Gospel music. He has over 30 years of experience in the ministry of music, and he attended Full Sail University for Music Production.

Kervin is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. Currently, he dually serves as the minister of music at both Restoration Baptist Church under the leadership of Bishop Clarence E. Stewart, Jr. and Mobile Heights Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Filbert Martin. He continues to use his ear and his talented skill with music to produce the musical dreams of others every day.

Lauren White, "The Void" and Untitled

I grew up in Bowie, Maryland. I have been described as quirky and weird, which is maybe not surprising, given my dualistic nature. By day, I am an engineer, having earned my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Maryland, College Park and my M.S. in Systems Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School. Free time is spent writing poetry, exploring music (especially that with no words), trying new whiskies, and being an avid Star Trek fan. I currently reside in Orlando, Florida, where it's warm.


Instagram: the_poeticengineer

Twitter: @poeticengineer

McKenzie Brown--"Those Winter Sundays"

McKenzie Epperson is a first-year student at Trenholm Community College where he is pursuing an Associate Degree in Music. He has been awarded a full scholarship which allows him to participate in the Trenholm Community Choir. Upon completion of his study, McKenzie intends to further his education to become an educator of music.

In 2019, McKenzie participated in the Alabama State University Theatre Summer Performing Arts Camp where he learned techniques in personal development, acting, singing and dancing. He also participated in the 2020 Virtual Performing Arts Experience with the Giving Individuals Freedom to Express Diversity program.

Pat Symonds--"Still I Rise"

Patricia has a love for family, friends, and truth. Her experience in marketing, and business development lead her to join companies such as IBM, The Travel Channel, Black Entertainment Television, and Co-owner of Symonds Energy, LLC. Patricia has a love for acting but like many of us - never branched out. This is her second production with Stage Door.

Rev. Hashmel Turner-- "Story of the Unknown Civil War Soldier"

Pastor Hashmel C. Turner, Jr. received his Ordination as a Baptist Preacher on the 27th of November 2004 at The First Baptist Church of Love by Pastor Douglas Buckner. Pastor Turner served as Interim Pastor from November 2005 until March 2009. He is the Co-Founder of Divine One Ministries Inc. serving as Overseer. He presently serves as Associate Pastor at the First Mount Zion Baptist Church Sparta, VA under Pastor Otis Kay. Pastor Turner serves as the Chaplain of the Mayfield Civic Association and 23rd Infantry Regiment USCT. As Chaplain of the 23rd USCT he tells of the role of Chaplain Henry McNeal Turner during the Civil War.

Pastor Turner graduated from Union High School in Bowling Green, VA. He is a Viet-Nam Veteran. He was Elected to the Fredericksburg City Council in May 2002. Pastor Turner served 8 years representing the (Majority Minority Ward of the City). He is the past President of the Fredericksburg Branch of the NAACP. He has a devoted wife (Alice) of 45 years. They have one loving daughter (Yolanda) and one grand-son (Robert) of whom they are very proud.

Tamu Johnson--"Still I Rise"

Proud Woman, Mother, Grandmother, Friend.

Enjoys collecting elephants, fashion, and music. Loves to dance, read and travel. Active Political Action Committee member of the Fredericksburg NAACP.

Tenisha Carter-Sobers--"Still I Rise"

This is Tenisha's second production with Stage Door. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Although this is her first time, her husband feels she is a natural as she tends to be quite dramatic at times.

Tisha Johnson-- "Soul Food and Sunday Dinner"

I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Southern Cuisine has been a lifelong passion of mine that started in the kitchen with my mother and sisters around the Holidays. The passion for cooking turned into opening my very own restaurant in 2017. The kitchen is where all the magic happened in my home. With two beautiful daughters and host of close friends I continue to run a full service restaurant and give back to my community. Acting is new to me and something I've always admired from afar. I look forward to this opportunity and the joy it could bring to others.