Douglas Turner Ward (1930- )

Douglas Turner Ward, an actor, director, and playwright, was considered a legend in African American theatre. Although he has achieved much during his lifetime, his co-founding of the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) in 1968 ranks as his greatest achievement. NEC has spawned over 200 productions … Read MoreDouglas Turner Ward (1930- )

The Negro Ensemble Company (1967- )

The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) was founded in New York City, New York during the summer of 1967, under the direction of actor Robert Hooks, actor, playwright, director Douglas Turner Ward, and producer, director Gerald Krone. From its beginning, NEC was criticized for its integrated … Read MoreThe Negro Ensemble Company (1967- )

Federal Theatre Project (Negro Units)

In 1935, in the middle of the Great Depression President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Administration created the Works Progress Administration Federal Theatre Project (FTP) as part of the New Deal economic recovery program. Negro units, also called The Negro Theatre Project (NTP), were set up in … Read MoreFederal Theatre Project (Negro Units)

Lincoln Motion Picture Company

African American audiences were generally ignored by the major motion picture studios in the first two decades of the 20th century. Nonetheless, demand for films aimed at black theaters in both the South and larger northern cities prompted the formation of several “black” motion picture … Read MoreLincoln Motion Picture Company

African Company / African Grove Theatre

The African Company was the first known black theatre troupe. In 1816, William Henry Brown (1815-1884), a retired West Indian steamship steward, acquired a house on Thomas Street in lower Manhattan, New York. He offered a variety of instrumental and vocal entertainments on Sunday afternoons … Read MoreAfrican Company / African Grove Theatre

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began in 1958 in New York City, New York as a repertory company of seven African American dancers performing both Ailey’s work and also classic modern pieces. They were soon acknowledged as the preeminent dance company articulating African American … Read MoreAlvin Ailey Dance Theater