Back in Black

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The curtain is about to rise on several new Broadway plays written by or about African-Americans, including a big-budget revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” It’s the latest example of what some are calling a renaissance in black theater both on and off Broadway.

It has been a little more than 30 years since plays about the African American experience were in the national spotlight. And while critical acclaim has usually been forthcoming, commercial success has been more elusive. Now, black playwrights and producers are making a play for a new double bill — economic and artistic viability. Some are embracing the classics; others are mining the modern African American experience, hoping the drama will translate to audiences of any color. Black theater’s second act.


Kenny Leon, artistic director, True Colors Theatre Company and director, “A Raisin in the Sun”

Akiba Abaka, founder, Up You Mighty Race Theater Company