Third Era: Mid 1900’s-Now

On this page you will find information about a theater that existed for a small period of time during the 1950’s. You will also see a list of some black theaters around the United States now. Lastly, you will see some prominent black actors and actresses now.

Black Arts Repertory Theater School (B.A.R.T.S.)

The Black Arts Repertory Theater School was founded in Harlem during the later part of the Civil Rights Movement. The school was located on 132nd very close to where the Lafayette theater was located. The school was founded by Amiri Baraka. Prior to taking on the name Amiri Baraka, his name was LeRoi Jones. He owned a magazine with his wife who was of Jewish descent. After the death of a prominent figure during the Civil Rights Movement, Baraka left his wife and moved to Harlem. He wrote a play which was controversial due to the content. As part of his initiative in order to bring more arts to the black community during this time, he created the school as a community center. The aim of the school was to provide a space for cultural development. The school was not opened for very long due to a lot of suspicious activity. The FBI was monitoring Baraka as well as the school, so it was shut down. As of right now the school is a brownstone. Baraka went on to be a professor at multiple different prestigious schools.

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(This is a picture of Amiri Baraka)

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(The photo above (left) is a flyer for a play written by Baraka about a black man and a white woman who meet on a train and later run into trouble due to false accusations. The photo to the left is a photo of Baraka years later.)

Harlem Repertory Theater

Harlem Repertory Theater is located on 120th street on the East side. The theater is located inside of a school, but the theater itself is set aside. The theater is a nonprofit theater company that serves and focuses on telling stories from communities compromised of people of color. Some of the plays and musicals the company has put on includes A Raisin in the Sun, Dreamgirls, In the Heights, Wizard of Oz, etc.


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(The picture above is a view of the audience from upstage)

Famous Actors

Related image This is a picture of Eartha Kitt. She was a well known singer as well as her roles in movies and on Broadway.

Image result for audra mcdonald This is a picture of Audra McDonald. She has won at least six Tony awards. She is one of the most well-known actresses in the theater community.

Related image This is a picture of Denzel Washington. He is one of the most talented actors of my time. He is also one of the many black actors that has been able to achieve success on both the screen and stage.


The first post on this page is only one example of the many theaters that arose in the U.S. during the mid 1900’s. Part of what makes that theater so special in my opinion is the involvement the government had as well. The end of the page focuses more on more modern venues and actors that have achieved some success.