We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlton V. Bell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carlton V., why did you pursue a creative career?
I just have always wanted to play, to put it simply. I get to do this daily as a theatre/film producer & director. I love creating & exploring the worlds in my head. Being able to collaborate in a room w/ other creatives to build, explore, & investigate the human condition is something that makes this planet make a lot more sense to me.
It’s important for me to do this specifically w/ other Black queer people. We have been historically kept out of the room, and unable to control our narratives.
My company Birmingham Black Repertory Theatre (thebbrtc.com)’s Motto is “Empower your community, Empower Yourself. We hope to achieve just that.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Carlton V Bell II, “C.J” (They/them) – I am an overall curator & facilitator of artistic expression through multiple disciplines, primarily through theatre & film. As an artist, my praxis is to consistently interrogate the word around me, and expressing what I learn by modes of performance based art; combining elements sensuality, honesty, spirituality, & musicality to all aspects of my work, by craft & by conjure. carltonvbell.com | thebbrtc.com
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Birmingham is incredible! Start downtown for sure!!! Check out all the historic sight from the civil rights movement, go catch some amazing theatre at the BBRTC (Birmingham Black Repertory Theatre)—Also the art museum & finish the night at Bar Sebastian right by the Negro League Museum
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people— Aija Penix, Jamil Jude, Yvette Jones Smedley, & Tony Christon-Walker. Of course My friends & comrades Jada Cato & Damone Williams. My FAMILY Gang Gang. My mentees (I call them nieces) Devin Franklin & David H Parker And every Black queer person who has had the courage to stand up & tell story!
Reginald Allen http://www.reggiedallen.com/