Mission And Purpose:

BTC is a network of theatre practitioners who self-identify as members of the Black/African Diaspora. We activate our collective resources to amplify, nurture and support the work of Black theaters and practitioners through advocacy, convening, networking and knowledge-sharing.

Background Information:

In 2013, the National Black Theatre (NBT) assembled 19 black theatre administrators from across the country in response to the terrifying reality that black theaters nationwide were quietly becoming extinct.  The convening illuminated that Black theatres are dying from a lack of accessible resources and failing infrastructures.  The Black Theatre Commons began meeting at Theatre Communication Group’s (TCG) 2014 National Conference as an immediate response to NBT’s “Catalyst” convening, with the goal of developing strategies around stabilization and sustainability.  Collectively, BTC members represent over 100 years of institutional knowledge; differing in location, infrastructure, operating budget, focus and aesthetic. Our goal is to create a new foundation of actionable strategies that support Black theaters and Black practitioners.

The creation of the Black Theatre Commons (BTC) is birthed out of a need within the field for an arts service institution that can provide infrastructure to Black Theatres and Black individual practitioners. Our institution is founded on the practice of working from a commons methodology which is working to design systems that allow for resources to be accessible to all members of the chosen community. The BTC is committed to deepening our leadership and analysis by combining the commons method with field wide best practice to lead with equity, diversity, and inclusion in all staff, volunteers, and audiences, including full participation in programs, policy formulation, and decision-making.

 “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

-Maya Angelou
author, poet, memoirist and civil rights activist


Daniel Bryant, Community Programs Director and Artistic Producer – CenterStage

Jonathan McCrory, Artistic Director – National Black Theatre

David D. Mitchell, Associate Artistic Director – Arena Players Incorporated

Hana Sharif, Artistic Director – The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Harold Steward, Interim Executive Director – The Theatre Offensive

Meredith Suttles, Director of Development – Theatre Works USA


Ekundayo Bandele, Founder & Chief Executive Officer – Hattiloo Theatre

Mica Cole, Repertory Producer – Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Nataki Garrett, Artistic Director – The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

JaMeeka Holloway, Artistic Director – Black Ops Theatre Company

Sharifa Johka, Interim Director of Diversity – Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Dafina McMillan, Co-Founder – Crux

Carmen Morgan, Founder & Executive Director– artEquity

Dr. Shondrika Moss-Bolden, Co-founder – Soulploitation Creative Works LLC

Phaedra Scott, Dramaturg – Black Theatre Commons, New Harmony Project

David Stewart, Production Manager – Disney Parks Live Entertainment

Yolanda Williams, Co-Founder/ Director – Blue Light Underground Ensemble

   Advisory Committee[3] [4] [5] 

   Akiba Akaba

   Mica Cole

   Kelvin Dinkins Jr.

   Al Heartley

   Carmen Morgan

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