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African-American Shakespeare Company

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African-American Shakespeare Company was introduced in 1994 to open the realm of classic theatre to a diverse audience; and provide an opportunity and place for actors of color to hone their skills and talent in mastering some of the world’s greatest classical roles. We do this by producing work from the canon of classical theatre including Shakespeare and great American and world playwrights that is lively, entertaining and relevant.


  1. We create theatrical experiences, which celebrate our pride, diversity and integrity.
  2. Our work has at its core an African-American aesthetic, steeped in an American sensibility, and a commitment to artistic and cultural experience.
  3. We value the ability to impart a theatrical knowledge base, teach style and content, and share classical repertoire to under-represented actors and diverse listening audiences.
  4. We build a sense of community with our audiences, artists, patrons, neighbors and collaborators and see each as essential stakeholders in our company.
  5. We seek to build long-term personal relationships with all who engage with us and infuse every experience with our company with warmth, caring, and good humor.
  6. We practice persistence and a can-do attitude.
  7. Our organization is nimble and flexible.


  1. We believe the arts can change perceptions.
  2. We believe that knowledge of the classics has great potential to empower communities of color.
  3. We believe the classics should and need to be accessible to historically excluded audiences.
  4. We believe the African-American community has been alienated from discovering time-favored classics.
  5. We believe there exists a disparity in arts opportunities and experiences available people of color, especially youth, and companies such as ours are critical in reducing and eliminating that disparity.