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Inspired by the meteoric rise of this playwright and activist, Stanley E. Williams and Quentin Easter established African American theatre as part of the San Francisco downtown theatre scene. In 1981, they founded Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (LHT) in the heart of the San Francisco theatre district. LHT is now currently located at Buriel Clay Theater at the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC).

After the passing of both founders in 2010, Steven Anthony Jones took the helm as Artistic Director. Upon his retirement in June 2017, Aldo Billingslea stepped up as Interim Artistic Director. He was succeeded by Darryl V. Jones as Interim Artistic Director.

LHT has produced more than 135 plays, including West Coast and World Premieres, experimental works, classics in the African American canon, lively musicals, and poignant socio-political dramas.

LHT’s presentations range from the works of Nobel Laureates Wole Soyinka, Derek Walcott, and Toni Morrison to Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Charles Fuller, Alice Walker and August Wilson; to large-scale musicals celebrating Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Lester Young, Fats Waller, Eubie Blake and others; to award winning dramas by James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and our namesake Lorraine Hansberry; to pioneering experimental theatre artists Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange and Maria Irene Fornes, and new works by Robert Alexander, Roger Guenveur Smith, David Rousseve Prince Gomolvilas, and Samm-Art Williams, among others.