When Artistic Director Kenny Leon and Managing Director Jane Bishop teamed up in 2002 to design a new theatre, they envisioned a smartly-managed, inclusive theatre company that would achieve both local and national impact. Thanks to a tremendous outpouring of support, their vision has quickly turned into reality.
True Colors Theatre Company launched its inaugural three-play season in October 2003 with a critically-acclaimed production of August Wilson's classic work, Fences. The ever-popular play Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling and the gospel musical Tambourines to Glory by Langston Hughes rounded out the first season. Other highlights to date include a reading of Samm-Art Williams' Brass Birds Don't Sing as part of Atlanta's First Glance Festival and a sold-out benefit reading of Valerie Boyd's book, Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston.
The name True Colors Theatre Company reflects a promise to search for truth and clarity. Truth comes not from focusing on what we look like but rather from examining our true colors, who we are as a country and as individuals. By understanding our true colors, we can better understand each other and how we are to live on the planet together. Turning the traditional model for major American theatres on its head, True Colors puts Negro-American classics at its core and branches out from there, including plays and playwrights from a variety of times, cultures and perspectives.
True Colors Theatre Company's mission is creating a moveable feast of theatre grounded in the rich canon of African-American classics and branching out to include bold interpretations of world drama and a strong commitment to diverse new voices. Central to this mission is performing the great works of African-American theatre, making sure that powerful classics such as A Raisin in the Sun and The Amen Corner remain available to new generations of Americans. Bold new interpretations of other classics that speak to our humanity like Medea and Anthony and Cleopatra will run alongside world premieres of works from diverse voices such as Pearl Cleage, Arthur Miller, Regina Taylor, Athol Fugard, Jose Rivera, and Nilo Cruz. True Colors is also committed to fostering new works and new voices, helping to develop those early-career writers who are creating tomorrow's classics today.
True Colors Theatre Company intends to be an important voice in the American discussion of diversity, supporting and propelling individuals and institutions in their quest for understanding. Operationally, the company will strive to remain fiscally sound and small enough that every individual who works there can be heard, be accountable, get better at what they do, and live out True Colors' core values.
Suzi Bass Awards History
2010-2011 Suzi Awards Lead Actress Musical: Adrienne Reynolds, Gut Bucket Blues
2008-2009 Suzi Awards Ensemble Play: for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf Ensemble Musical: Black Nativity Choreography – Patdro Harris, Black Nativity Costume Design – Shilla Benning, Black Nativity
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