Traci Tolmaire in IN THE EVENING BY THE MOONLIGHT
Photo by Alejandro Ramos
NEW BLACK VOICES MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
LHT has established itself as a pillar of the local community while providing career-building opportunities for BIPOC theatre makers, technicians and administrators as the oldest Black theatre company in San Francisco. With over 40 years of creating theatrical works by, for, and about the Black experience, the company now prioritizes Black female & femme playwrights as well as stories showcasing Black history, perspectives, and joy.
Black artists, and to a greater degree Black female and nonbinary theatre makers, are not receiving the representation they deserve on our stages. Transforming the systemic racism of the American theatre demands financial investment. It is crucial to pledge resources in order to amplify the works of talented artists of color and to ensure that diverse, essential stories take center stage. Presenting works by women of color is a part of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre’s DNA; this theatre has long nurtured Black female playwrights such as Ntozake Shange early in their careers. In honor of our revolutionary Black female namesake, I aim to make this mission central to the operations of this theatre as its Artistic Director, further establishing Lorraine Hansberry Theatre as the place where emerging Black playwrights find a haven to develop their voices.”
As LHT’s first Black female artistic director, Margo Hall leads a re-birth of the new theatrical works carrying on the spirit of the company’s namesake with the New Black Voices Mentorship Program. The program provides developmental and production opportunities for emerging Black female & femme playwrights as well as support and mentorship while they create socially impactful pieces relevant to their communities—from initial idea to the finished script.