BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                          President                                       Dr. Jonathan Smith, St. Louis University
                          Vice President                              Larry D. Richardson, Benjamin F. Edwards
                          Secretary                                        M. Denise Thomas
                          Chair, Finance                             Barbara Feiner 
                          Chair, Facilities                          Lionel Phillips, Phillips Concrete Services
                          Chair, Marketing                       Alesha Henley, COCA-Center of Creative Arts
                          Chair, Education                        Feleccia Moore-Davis, St. Louis Community College-Meramec
 

                         

  Tim Bennett
Michael Brockland, SWMW Law, LLC
Allan Gray, ZHOU Brothers LLC,Partner
Andreal Hoosman, Haywood Hoosman Realty
Gisele Marcus, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Edward O'Neal, Benjamin F. Edwards
Wanda Starr-Ferguson, Edward Jones
Paul Steger, Webster University
 

THE BLACK REP STAFF

Founder and Producing Director

RON HIMES,the Founder and Producing Director of the Saint Louis Black Repertory Company and the Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence at Washington University. The Black Rep has developed a national reputation for staging quality productions from an African-American perspective.  He founded the company in 1976 while still a student at Washington University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.  The Black Rep began touring to other college campuses and, in 1981, found a home in the former sanctuary of the Greely Presbyterian Church in north St. Louis City, which the company converted and renamed the 23rd Street Theatre. 

 In 1991, after a multi-million dollar renovation, the company moved into the former First Congregation Church building, located in the heart of the Grand Center arts and education district in midtown, renaming it the Grandel Square Theatre.

He has produced and directed more than 200 plays at The Black Rep, including all ten plays written by August Wilson. His Black Rep directing credits include: Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Nina Simone; Four Women, Dot, Lines In The Dust, Twisted Melodies, Sunset Baby, Purlie, Black Nativity: A Holiday Celebration, the critically acclaimed productions of Ruined and The Montford Point Marine. Himes also created and directed the highly acclaimed, Crossin’ Over and Tell Me Somethin’ Good. He has directed a number of world premieres including Torn Asunder, Smash/Hit!, Insidious, Home the Musical, Servant of the People, Riffs and Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms. Directing credits from theatres across the country include Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Fences (The Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville); The Colored Museum and Blues for an Alabama Sky (Indiana  Repertory Theatre); Flyin’ West (Delaware Theatre Company); For Colored Girls.........(People’s Light and Theatre Company in Philadelphia); Riffs (Seven Stages in Atlanta); Spunk, Spell #7 and Radio Golf (Studio Theatre in Washington, DC); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and I’m Not Rappaport (Old Creamery Theatre in Garrison, IA); and An Enemy of the People (Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, AK). University and College credits include: Crumbs From The Table Of Joy and Our Town, (University of Southern Indiana in Evansville);Intimate Apparel, (University of Indiana in Bloomington); You Can’t Take It With You, (University of Wisconsin in Madison); The Championship Season and The Dance on Widow’s Row, (Dillard University in New Orleans); Three Ways Home (University of Illinois in Champaign); The Darker Face of the Earth (University of South Carolina in Columbia); Blues for Mr. Charlie, Hairspray, Ragtime, The Lion and The Jewel and Trojan Women (Washington University in St. Louis).

 

In 2003, Himes was appointed the first Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence at Washington University, a joint appointment of the Performing Arts Department, African and African American Studies. In 2010 he  was a member of the U.S. delegation to the third World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures in Dakar, Senegal and he has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2013 Outstanding Organization of The Year Award from 100 Black Men and The Citizen of The Year Award from the Gateway Classic Foundation, 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from University College at Washington University, St. Louis 2004 Heroes Pierre Laclede Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, The Arts & Education Council in 2001; Creative Artist Award, The Better Family Life in 1997; Woodie Award for Outstanding Direction, the St. Louis Black Repertory Company’; and Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1993, and from Washington University in 1997 and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Life and Legacy Award from the National Pan-Hellenic Alumni Council. 

 

Artistic Staff

Production Staff:
Auri Wilds - Technical Director                                                         auriw@theblackrep.org
Ellen Minch - Costume Shop Supervisor                                         ellenm@theblackrep.org
Kasey Dunaski - Stage Management Associate                              kaseyd@theblackrep.org
 
Intern Company:
Kasey Dunaski                                                                                  
Kentrell Jamison                                                                                
Christian Kitchens                                                                             
Theorri London                                                                                   
Jesmelia Williams                                                                             
Tyler White                                                                                        
Christina Yancy                                                                                  
 

Administrative Staff

Brian McKinley - Executive Assistant                                                   brianm@theblackrep.org

Dan Tierney - Comptroller                                                                    dant@theblackrep.org

Jennifer Stoffel - Director of Advancement and Strategic Initiatives    jennifers@theblackrep.org

Heather Himes - Box Office Manager                                                  heatherb@theblackrep.org

Cheryl Beal - Volunteer Coordinator/House Manager                         cherylb@theblackrep.org

Kentrell Jamison  - Box Office Associate                                             kentrellj@theblackrep.org

Christina Yancy - Development Associate                                           christinay@theblackrep.org

 
Education Department

 

Tyler White - Education Associate                                                     tylerw@theblackrep.org

Christian Kitchens - Education Assistant                                           christiank@theblackrep.org

Theorri London- Educatiion Assistant                                                theorril@theblackrep.org

Jesmelia Williams  - Education Assistant                                          jesmeliaw@theblackrep.org

 

 

 

 

HISTORY

Founded in 1976 by Producing Director Ron Himes, The Black Rep is one of the largest, not-for-profit professional African-American theatre companies in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri. Its mission: To provide platforms for theatre, dance, and other creative expressions from the African-American perspective that heighten the social and cultural awareness of its audiences. 

 

In  2003 The Black Rep began performing one production a season and in 2013 began performing three main stage productions in the 656-seat Edison Theater on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, producing quality professional dramas, comedies and musicals by primarily African-American and  playwrights from throughout the African Diaspora. In addition, The Black Rep maintains an award-winning Education and Community Program. Created in the 1970’s, before we had a permanent home, to widen The Company’s reach in the St. Louis region and to take theatre to the people, the program includes classes and workshops for adults and youth (ages 6-18), touring productions, a Summer Performing Arts Program, a Teen Tech Program, and Professional Internships. Each is designed to create opportunities for youth with a love and talent for theatre to hone their craft and discover their personal talent. Professional experience, through The Company’s internship program, supports the transition from academia to a career in the theatre for recent college graduates and young theatre professionals. The quality of the company’s work with students is evidenced by their success. Alumni of The Black Rep Professional Intern Program are now working in arts organizations across the country and the world. Many students who encountered the arts through The Company have moved on to explore educational and career options that they would not have otherwise considered.

 

The Company prides itself on producing, reimagining, and commissioning work written by black playwrights, The Company has produced eighteen world premieres, and has showcased the works of Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights August Wilson and Lynn Nottage, Nobel Prize winner, Wole Soyinka as well as  Dominique Morisseau, George C. Wolfe, Nikkole Salter and Pearl Cleage.  In January 2020 at the opening of “Two Trains Running,” The Black Rep was presented with the August Wilson American Century Cycle Award honoring companies that have staged all 10 of Wilson’s works. With that production The Company has now produced seven of the plays in chronological order and has three to have completed the cycle twice.

 

In 2003, Himes was appointed the first Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence at Washington University, a joint appointment of the Performing Arts and African American Studies departments. In 2017, Himes was awarded The Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award at the National Black Theatre Festival, an award that recognizes the great contributions made by producers to the American Theatre and the entertainment industry. 

 

 In the first few years, Himes took The Company on the road, touring college campuses, community centers, and art/theatre festivals. After drawing large crowds and support, in 1980, The Company took up residence in St. Louis in the former Greeley Presbyterian Church’s sanctuary, renovating the interior into its first home, The 23rd Street Theatre, fondly dubbed The Miracle on 23rd Street. During the 1980′s, The Company produced six months of theatre and began to hire guest actors, directors, designers, and choreographers locally and nationally to work with its resident acting company. The Company also produced six months of dance with its resident dance company and soon began to present regional dance companies. There were also  spoken word, music and independent film series produced and/or presented. Later in the ‘80s  the focus was narrowed to producing  theatre. By 1986, The Company became the only African-American theatre in the Midwest to operate under contract with the Actor’s Equity Association, guaranteeing union wages to its actors and stage managers. 

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