Black woman-owned production company brings ‘I Am Queen Charlotte’ back to the stage

CHARLOTTE – “I Am Queen Charlotte” is back.

Roughly seven months after it debuted as the week-long “I Am Queen Charlotte” experience, the show is returning for a one-night only showing at the Knight Theater on Saturday, October 1.

Organized by two local artists — poet and storyteller Hasan and photographer and cinematographer Scott Gardner — the first showcase, screened in March and funded by a city grant, celebrated Black women in Charlotte — all the way back to the city’s namesake Queen Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg -Strelitz, who some historians believe was of “mixed-race heritage.” It included storytelling performances, spoken word poetry, an art walk, a book, a concert, film screenings, discussions, workshops and an educational curriculum.

This time, Hasan’s production company EPOCH TRIBE (pronounced eh-pick), which she co-founded with her sister Shardae Hasan, is co-producing the one-night show with the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Tickets went on sale this month.

With a nearly all-Black woman cast and production team, it’s described as an “intersection of story, music, and movement.”

Left to right: Jessica Dunston, photographer; Tashika Hamilton, Communications; Genna Fumiko, Designer; Janeen Davis, Curriculum Development; Shardae Hasan, Creative Director; Hannah Hasan, Writer/Producer; Latisha Casey, Lighting Director. Photo credit Jessica Dunston

“With the first I Am Queen Charlotte show, we brought people to the theater who haven’t always felt reflected in the stories on stage,” said producer Hannah Hasan. “A line wrapped around the block to the doors of the Belk Theater.”

This time around, she’s hoping to do the same. “With the support of Blumenthal, Epoch Tribe is redefining what it looks like to engage with traditionally marginalized communities in arts and theater,” Hasan said.

“I Am Queen Charlotte” is the first project supported by the Infusion Fund’s new Opportunity Fund, which is part of a strategy recently approved by the board for allocating more than $4 million in arts and culture funding this year.

In March, its producers received a $35,000 grant to kick off the project.

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