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San Francisco's Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (LHTSF) is the Bay Area's premiere African-American theatre company. Founded in 1981, LHTSF is the oldest continuously-producing African-American Equity theatre company on the West Coast.
LHTSF productions reach approximately 20,000 theatre-goers annually, with one of the most eclectic audiences of any theater in the region. LHTSF has produced more than 130 plays, including west coast and world premieres, experimental works, classics in the African-American canon, lively musicals, and poignant socio-political dramas. LHTSF’s presentations range from the works of Nobel Laureates Wole Soyinka, Derek Walcott, and Toni Morrison to Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Charles Fuller, Alice Walker and August Wilson; to large-scale musicals celebrating Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Lester Young, Fats Waller, Eubie Blake and others; to award winning dramas by James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Douglas Turner Ward, Pearl Cleage, and our namesake Lorraine Hansberry; to pioneering experimental theatre artists Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange and Maria Irene Fornes, and new works by Robert Alexander, Roger Guenveur Smith, David Rousseve, Prince Gomolvilas, Ron Stacker Thompson, and others.
Currently without a permanent performance space, LHTSF productions are presented at various venues in and around San Francisco. In 2012, Artistic Director Steven Anthony Jones debuted Bringing the Art to the Audience, a staged reading series presented at venues all over the Bay Area, including the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), the African-American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC), Richmond's East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Oakland's Joyce Gordon Gallery, and many other traditional and non-traditional venues. In the future, expect to see readings held in churches, bars and other unexpected locales.
Lorraine Hansberry Theatre maintains offices near Union Square in The City's robust Theatre District. LHTSF was founded by the late Messrs. Stanley E. Williams (1950-2010) & Quentin Easter (1953-2010).
Queen Michelle Jordan in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by August Wilson, directed by Luther James, 2001