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Bright Ideas 2020: Launch a Black Theater Collective

Bright Ideas 2020: Launch a Black Theater Collective


Sandra Adell is an Evjue Bascom Professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Bright Ideas are back! Leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and people who are doing interesting things share their bright ideas for 2020 with the Cap Times. Find them posted here throughout the week and in print on Jan. 8.

It’s rare to see a play by and about African Americans in Madison. The Black Theater Collective hopes to change that. We are a group of black people who love theater and want to create performance opportunities for other black people in the community who share that love. Our goal is to identify them and help develop their skills and talent through theater training.

We are planning to conduct a series of acting workshops beginning in May or July, 2020. The two-hour workshops will be held on Saturdays and will be free and open to adults 18 and older. This is the first step to creating a pool of talented black actors. The other part is building an audience for black theater. In March 2020, we’ll have a free public reading of “The Amen Corner,” a play by James Baldwin, held at the Urban League of Greater Madison.

The Black Theater Collective is the building block to what we hope will become at some point a black theater company. That’s someone else’s dream; this is my piece.

—As told to Lindsay Christians

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