African Community Theatre | Kent State University

African Community Theatre

The African Community Theatre (ACT), located in Ritchie Hall, increases exposure to and knowledge of the theatre heritage of African-Americans for students and local community residents of all ages. The program encourages area residents and students to participate in its theatrical productions. Students enhance communication skills and gain awareness and appreciation of the African-American heritage as depicted through theatre.

The nucleus groups for the African Community Theatre are the Mbárí Mbáyò Players and the African Theatre Arts Workshop. The Mbárí Mbáyò Players are in training for acting on stage, the African Theatre Arts Workshop serves to train students and community residents in various aspects of theatre. The goal of the African Community Theatre is to extend the knowledge of African creativity presented through theatre. The theatre is open to the participation of senior citizens, younger adults, and college and public school students. If interested in poetry, costuming, acting or directing, the theatre would appreciate your participation.

Pan-African Theatre Ensemble

Inspire - Community – Research – Performance

“A people without knowledge of their history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” -Marcus Garvey

Purchase Tickets!

Download 2017-18 Pan-African Theatre Ensemble season brochure

2017-2018 Pan-African Theatre ensemble Season

Artistic Director and Theatre Curator: D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson, Ph.D. 

Spring 2018:
The Purple Flower (1927) by Marita Bonner

Thursday-Saturday, March 8, 9, 10, 2018 at 8 pm and Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 2 pm.

Talkback on Saturday, March 10 after the show

Synopsis-"The Purple Flower"
As Marita O. Bonner’s finest masterpiece,
The Purple Flower (1927) is the first surrealist play written by an African American woman, long before Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro in 1964.  The Purple Flower (1927) is a one-act play first published in the N.A.A.C.P. Crisis Magazine in 1927, consisting of two sets of characters: “White Devils” and “Us’s.” Through a surrealist theatrical device, the play relays a spiral of racial tensions in the United States in the 1920s, but applies to contemporary society and to any oppressed peoples around the world. Although Bonner never produced The Purple Flower in her lifetime, perhaps because of her bold racial representations of Whites as “White Devils” at the time, the Crisis Magazine awarded the play its first prize in the 1927 Literary Award.

New Black Plays

April 12-15, 2018

African Community Theatre room 230 ORH

April 12-15, 2018 show begins at 8:00 pm everyday doors open at 7:30 pm

$10 entrance fee (1 ticket pass for all shows)

Proceeds in aid of the Pan-African Theatre Ensemble’s travel to theatre festivals and events (2018)

Thursday, April 12, 2018, doors open at 7:30 pm Show begins at 8 pm

  • Phillis: The American Revolutionary 
    • Written and Directed by Sonita Surratt

Friday, April 13, 2018 doors open at 7:30pm Show begins at 8 pm

    • The Inheritance: Love, Drugs & Southern Discomforts
      • Written and Directed by Monica Patton

    Saturday, April 14, 2018, show begins at 8:00 pm doors open at 7:30 pm

    • Amazing Grace -  A reactionary piece chronicling my mental journey through Amazing Grace
      • Written and Directed by Chris Twaddle
    •  If You Make Your Bed You Gotta Lie In It - A Choreopoem
      • Written and Directed by Ephraim Nehemiah

    Sunday, April 15, 2018, show begins at 8:00 pm doors open at 7:30 pm

    • Bluest Eye – A Movement Piece
      • Written and Directed by Abigail Recker
    •  An adaptation of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf
      • Written by Ntozake Shange – Directed by Chantrell Lewis and ShaKeela Gary

    Kent State University
    African Community TheatRE
    Oscar Ritchie Hall
    Room 230
    225 Terrace Drive
    Kent, OH 44242