Our theatre was named for its namesake Lorraine Hansberry; playwright, director, and activist and launched in 1981 by Stanley E. Williams and Quentin Easter.
“...Excellent acting all around...”
San Francisco CA
Our namesake, Lorraine Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun, which opened on Broadway to great success. Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award. She died at age 34. Inspired by the meteoric rise of this, Playwright and Activist of her time; Stanley E. Williams and Quentin Easter established African American theatre as part of the San Francisco downtown theatre establishment. In 1981, they founded the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (LHT) in San Francisco. LHT is now currently located at Buriel Clay Theater at the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC).
In March 2011, Steven Anthony Jones took the helm as Artistic Director after the passing of both founders in 2010. After his retirement in June 2017, Aldo Billingslea took the creative helm 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.
Our Founders pose infront of our previous location at 620 Sutter.
Playwright, Director, Activist, and our inspiration.
Darryl V. Jones
Acting Artistic Director
The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in San Francisco.
The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (LHT) attracts one of the most eclectic audiences of any theatre in the San Francisco Bay region. LHT prides itself on being inclusive and welcoming.
The core mission of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is to create theatrical works by, for, and about African American people and other people of color. LHT will present plays by African American and multicultural playwrights and provide employment and career building opportunities for actors, directors, designers, and technicians from the African American and multicultural communities.
LHT will make the work of Women Playwrights an emphasis every season and will produce work that deals with issues of Social Justice. LHT draws from the Cultural and economic resources of the San Francisco Bay Area to enrich and strengthen the Performing Arts by actively seeking and participating in collaboration with Bay Area Arts institutions and other related organizations.
We are a not-for-profit theatre. DONATIONS and support are always appreciated.