Follow Us!

Latest News

Youth lead stunning Black Rep and COCA co-production of ‘Four Little Girls’

11-14-2019 News

From the talent of ‘babies’ Youth lead stunning Black Rep and COCA co-production of ‘Four Little Girls’ itter By Kenya Vaughn   Oct 24, 2019  Photos by Phillip Hamer, courtesy of COCA “My babies came through,” director Jacqueline Thompson said of her cast following the opening night performance of “Four Little Girls:...

Read more

The Black Rep Memorial Tribute for Ms. Linda Alton Randall Kennedy has been rescheduled.

08-21-2019 News

   The Black Rep Memorial Tribute for Ms. Linda Alton Randall Kennedy has been rescheduled for Monday January 13, 2020  at the Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis.    Linda Alton Randall Kennedy December 5, 1950 - August 16, 2019   Our hearts are heavy as we...

Read more

Ferguson play debuted by The Black Rep gets broader audience

08-05-2019 News

‘Canfield Drive’ among National Black Theatre Festival lineup in North Carolina By Kenya Vaughn   Jul 25, 2019 ‘Canfield Drive,’ which premiered at The Black Rep in January, will play The National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. Photos by Phil Hamer “I’m always trying to pick work that speaks to...

Read more

The State of Black Theater

11-01-2018 News

Longtime African American actor Robert Hooks on the state of black theater, then and now By Roxanne Roberts, The Washington Post October 26, 2018 Actor Robert Hooks. (Kevin Hooks) Q: Is there a great theater company specifically for African American actors, like Alvin Ailey is for dancers?   Read More      

Read more

Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Gets ‘National Treasure’ Designation

06-21-2018 News

Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Gets ‘National Treasure’ Designation   Read More    

Read more



                           President                                    Gisele Marcus, Thermo Fisher Scientific
                           Vice President                             Larry D. Richardson, Benjamin F. Edwards
                           Secretary                                       M. Denise Thomas
                          Chair, Finance                             Barbara Feiner
  Tim Bennett
Michael Brockland, SWMW Law, LLC
Allan Gray
Alesha Henley, St. Louis Regional Chamber
Andreal Hoosman, Haywood Hoosman Realty
Edward O’Neal, Benjamin F. Edwards
Lionel Phillips, Phillips Concrete
 Dr. Johnathan Smith, St. Louis University
Paul Steger, Webster University






Founded in 1976 by Producing Director Ron Himes, The Black Rep is the largest, professional African-American theatre company in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri.

After its inception, Himes began to take the company on the road, performing for people everywhere by touring college campuses, community centers and various art / theatre festivals. The Black Rep started to draw such huge crowds when they performed and in 1980, the company took residence in the former Greeley Presbyterian Church’s sanctuary on the corner of St. Louis Avenue and 23rd Street, renovating the interior into a theatre space. During the 1980′s, the company began to hire guest actors, directors, designers and choreographers locally and nationally. In addition, The Black Rep began presenting regional dance companies and a musical film series. By 1986, the company became the only African-American theatre in the Midwest to operate under a contract with the Actor’s Equity Association, guaranteeing union wages to its actors and stage managers. Later in the eighties, The Black Rep decided to narrow its focus to only producing African-American live theatre.

In the early 1990′s, The Black Rep relocated to the heart of Grand Center, St. Louis’ arts and cultural district, where it makes its home in the beautiful, renovated 467-seat Grandel Theatre. At the Grandel, mainstage productions are performed for an audience of more than 25,000 annually.

With an eye toward future growth and continued artistic excellence, in 2005 the board of directors added the position of Executive Director to The Black Rep staff leadership. Rudy Nickens, affiliated with the company since its inception, was selected for the post.

Today, The Black Rep performs at the Edison Theater at Washington University in St. Louis.The company continues to produces quality professional dramas, comedies and musicals by primarily African-American and third world playwrights. The company has produced the works of Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights August Wilson, Dominique Morisseau, George C. Wolfe and Lynn Nottage, and Tony Kushner. In addition, the company maintains an award-winning Education and Community Program, including classes and workshops for adults and youth, touring productions, the Summer Performing Arts Program, the Teen Tech Program and the Professional Internship Program.

Mainstage productions and Education programs combine to reach more than 80,000 people annually. The company is pleased to entertain the most diverse theatre audience in the St. Louis region.

Celebrate with The Black Rep as it continues to bring the magic of live theatre to everyone. Join us…Entertaining Diverse Audiences. Educating Promising Youth. Enriching Our Community.


RON HIMES, the Founder and Producing Director of The Black Rep, has produced over 100 performances throughout the Company’s 33-year history. Although his St. Louis acting and directing credits are too numerous to mention, he has directed for theatres throughout the country including: For Colored Girls, for People’s Light & Theatre Company in Philadelphia; Riffs for Seven Stages in Atlanta; Spunk and Spell #7 at the Studio Theatre in Washington D.C.; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and I’m Not Rappaport at the Old Creamery Theatre in Garrison, IA; Enemy of the People at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, AK; and Flyin’ West for Delaware Theatre Company. Mr. Himes has received numerous honors and awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Washington University and the University of Missouri St. Louis and the 2001 Arts & Education Council Lifetime Achievement Award.