Tribute to Tennille Foust

In July 2020, a group of Theater Department Chairs from the Greensboro Consortium of Colleges and Universities, including Tennille Foust and Anne Hayes (Bennett College), Lauren Kearns and David McGraw (Elon University), Beth Ritson (Guilford College), Doug Brown (High Point University), Gregory Horton (North Carolina A&T State University), and Natalie Sowell (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), convened to discuss their response to the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. They proposed a collaborative theater festival focused on black lives and experiences, which received unanimous support.

With overwhelming backing, the Amplify Black Voices Festival of Greater Greensboro Committee was formed, led by Tennille Foust and Anne Hayes. Their shared vision was to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter Movement through theater, celebrating African-American lives and history, and fostering community dialogue. In 2021, they secured a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and successfully hosted the first Amplify Black Voices Theater Festival, featuring four shows from different North Carolina colleges.

After a year’s hiatus, the festival returned in 2022, with Natalie Sowell and Beth Ritson as co-chairs, continuing the legacy of amplifying black voices in theater. This year’s festival was dedicated to the memory of Tennille Foust, a cherished colleague known for her talent and dedication to her students. Her absence is deeply felt, and the festival honors her lasting impact and contributions to the community.