“A Conversation” With Empire Star Trai Byers

Kicks Off Robeson Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season!

The Paul Robeson Theatre will kick off their 50th Anniversary Season on Friday, September 15 at 7:45 p.m. with “A Conversation With Television And Film Actor, Trai Byers of Fox TV’s Empire" Host and Moderator for the evening will be SUNY Buffalo State College Professor Aaron Moss. A question and answer and reception will close out the evening. Tickets are $50 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary Season.

Mr. Byers has guest starred in the hit soap opera, All My Children, followed by the seminal teen hit 90210. On the big screen, Mr. Byers appeared opposite David Oyelowo in the historic, Oscar nominated film, Selma also starring Oprah Winfrey. Currently he stars opposite Golden Globe winning actress Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Tony award winner Phylicia Rashad, and Gabourey Sidibe in the cultural phenomenon, Empire, which has been ranked as one of the most watched television series in history. He will share his experiences and expertise with the community during the “Conversation.”

-Season Opening- The first production of the Paul Robeson Theatre Anniversary Season is "Blood at the Root" written by Dominique Morisseau and Directed by Aaron Moss. It is a coproduction with the Theater Department at SUNY Buffalo State College. "Blood at the Root" opens Sept. 27 – Oct. 7 at Buffalo State College and will run Oct. 13 – Oct. 29 at the Paul Robeson Theatre inside the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Avenue. "Blood at the Root "is striking new ensemble drama based on the Jena Six; six Black students who were initially charged with attempted murder for a school fight after being provoked with nooses hanging from a tree on campus.

This bold new play by Dominique Morisseau (Sunset Baby, Detroit '67, Skeleton Crew) examines the miscarriage of justice, racial double standards, and the crises in relations between men and women of all classes and, as a result, the shattering state of Black family life.

For additional information contact Paulette D. Harris, Artistic Director paulrobesontheatrebuffalo@ gmail.com (716) 884-2013

Tracy K. Smith Is the New Poet Laureate

Tracy K. Smith 

Tracy K. Smith 

TheLibrary of Congress has named Ms. Tracy K. Smith its new poet laureate, the nation’s highest honor in that field. With therecently announced appointment, announced, Ms. Smith will take on a role held by some of the country’s most revered poet.

   Ms. Smith, 45, said she planned to use the position to be a literary evangelist of sorts, by visiting small towns and rural areas to hold poetry events.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to take what I consider to be the good news of poetry to parts of the country where literary festivals don’t always go,” she said. “Poetry is something that’s relevant to everyone’s life, whether they’re habitual readers of poetry or not.”

Ms. graduated from Harvard with a degree in English and Afro-American studies. She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University and published her first collection, “The Body’s Question,” in 2003. Lately, Ms. Smith, is the director of the creative writing program at Princeton University. History is also a recurring theme in her forthcoming collection, “Wade in the Water.


New drama by Gary Earl Ross on stage now at the Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Avenue, third floor. Presented by Subversive Theatre, it is directed by Kurt Schneiderman and stars Shawnell Tillery, Brian Brown, Rick Lattime, Lawrence Rowswell, Leon Copeland, Jr., Kunji Rey, Brittany Bassett, VerNia Garvin, and Michael Mottern. Showtimes now thru May 6: Thursday thru Saturday at 8 p.m.  Tickets $25- $30.For more information call 408-0499 or subversivetheatre.org  Local award-winning playwright Rossexamines the question: What would have happened on Feb. 26, 2012 if the roles of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, whose deadly confrontationhelped fuel a renewed movement for racial justice in America, had been switched?  The Trial of Trayvon Martin is the third in Subversive Theatre Collective’s “Black Power Play Series.” Pictured above, Brian Brown, left, and Rick Lattimer.

snap shot review 

“The Motherf**ker With The Hat” -  A Hit! 

Pictured: Cast: Melinda Carpeles-Rowe , Greg Howze, Rosa Fernandez, Rolando Martin Gomez,  Anthony Alcocer, and  Director Victoria Perez

Pictured: Cast: Melinda Carpeles-Rowe , Greg Howze, Rosa Fernandez, Rolando Martin Gomez,  Anthony Alcocer, and  Director Victoria Perez

 Yes that’s correct, the title of the latest stage play at Road Less Traveled Productions is called “ The Motherf**ker With The Hat.”  Written by RLTP’s 2011 American Theater Master, Stephen Aldy Guirgis, it played onBroadway five years ago. Scott Behrend , RLTP Artistic Director, has assembled the perfect team here in Buffalo to pull it off and has definitely hit a home run! Thanks to its title season sponsor M&T Bank, student Thursday sponsor Mighty Taco and Production Sponsor the Law Office of Leroi C. Johnson,  the City of Buffalo gets to indulge the talents of this memorable cast and witness the skill of RLTP ensemble member Victoria Perez who directs this intense yet hilarious drama. 

Set in the confines of three NYC apartments, the cast takes us on a journey choc-full of the trials of love, friendships, substance abuse, and the ever questionable suspicion of who to trust and all the emotional risky events that happen in between. This young emerging perfectly paired cast of actors never skip a beat and keep the production at an energetic pace with surprising unpredictable moments you are sure to enjoy.  The play kicked off March 10 and will run until April 2 at the Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl Street with performances on Thursday/Friday/Saturday 7:30pm and Sunday 2:00pm. (please note this play has a parental advisory for explicit content). Go to roadlesstraveledproduction.org for tickets and more info.  



The Paul Robeson Theatre (PRT) presents 

“In The Continuum” written by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter

             Williams             Foster 

             Williams             Foster 

Directed by Paulette D. Harris, the production puts a human face on the devastating impact of aids in Africa and America through the lives of two unforgettably courageous women.  Living worlds apart, one in South Central LA and the other in Zimbabwe, each experience a kaleidoscopic weekend of life changing revelations in this story of parallel denials and self-discoveries.  Ms. Harris has assembled an excellent cast starring Christina Foster and Ayana N. Williams, well known thespians in the theatrical arena.

“In The Continuum” is running now thruApril 2 Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 4 p.m., with audience talkbacks after the show.

The special rate with a coupon is$20 per person on March 17 & 26. Visit our website at www.aaccbuffalo.org or for more information and group rates contact Paulette D. Harris, Artistic Director at paulrobesontheatrebuffalo@gmail.com 

Paul Robeson Theatre Welcomes Back Carlos R.A. Jones

Carlos R.A. Jones

Carlos R.A. Jones

Buffalo State College and the African American Cultural Center will collaborate on a fund raiser production for the Theatre entitled, Buck, Boogie, Bop and Beyond: The Black and Brown of Broadway Musical.  The production is conceived, directed and choreographed by Carlos Jones, Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Buffalo State College.

Buck, Boogie, Bop and Beyond is a homage to the contributions of artists from the African diaspora to American musical theater, it is song, dance and a narrated musical review developed and mounted on students from Buffalo State’s Theater and Music departments.

Mr. Jones has a body of work that extends from the concert state to theater to television and film.  His eclectic background has brought him recognition as an international artist. 

Concert Appearancesinclude Loretta Livingston, Bethune Theatredanse, Dance Kansas City Modern/Jazz Company and his own Carlos Jones & Company.  Theatrical Credits : Some Like it Hot, Man of La Mancha, It’s a Pretty Good Life and Sesame Street Live.  Movies : I’ll Do Anything, Dance With Me, and Uptown Girls.  Television Series: Cybil, Howie, the Nanny, and the Drew Carey Show.  Concert Works: San Jose Dance Company, Movement Source, Dance Spectrum Alaska, Adage Repertory Company, Jazz Antiqua Music & Dance Ensemble.  Theatrical Directing and Choreography includes Four Guys Name Jose and Una Mujer Names Maria, History of White Music, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, Reefer Madness, West Side Story, Black Nativity, She Hysteric, a one woman show with SNL veteran Ellen Gleghorne, Once Upon a Mattress under the direction of Carol Burnett and Hair directed by Broadway legend Andre DeShields.  All of the aforementioned are just to name a few.

Mr. Jones has worked extensively in arts education and community arts programming   The Paul Robeson Theatre is proud to present this working collaboration with Mr. Jones and Buffalo State College.  Buck, Boogie, Bop and Beyond will run February 17 & 18 at 8:00pm and Sunday February 19 at 4pm.  For additional information please call the Center at 884-2013.

The African American Paul Robeson Theatre In Its 49th Year of Cultivating the Arts!

Series of New Ventures as well as Existing Programs Planned for 2017 Season

Paulette D. Harris 

Paulette D. Harris 

The Paul Robeson Theatre is the second oldest component of the African American Cultural Center. It was founded in 1968 to nurture and showcase the talents of African American playwrights, producers, directors, actors and stage technicians in the City of Buffalo and the surrounding Western New York region. 

  Theater artists of every caliber have helped to shape the Paul Robeson Theatre. The illustrious Ossie Davis was an early artistic consultant. Other alumni directors, actors, playwrights and producers include Woodie King Jr., Reuben Santiago Hudson, Margaret Ford-Taylor, Phyllicia Allen Rashad, Richard Gant, Robert Stacker Thomas, P.J. Gibson, J.E. Franklin and Robert Earl Jones

-Still Going Strong-

   Today the Paul Robeson Theatre under Artistic Director Paulette D. Harris will be presenting a series of new ventures as well as existing programs for the 2017 season.

-Scratch Nite-

   The return of Scratch Nite will be held the last Monday of every month from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.  The program is a night showcasing work-in-progress performances in theatre, dance, music, poetry, comedy, storytellers, writers, indie-film and most disciplines by emerging artists who wish to present their ideas in a live environment.  Each presentation is followed by a reflective exchange between the artist and audience, facilitated by the host for the evening.  Cover charge is $5. Vendors welcome.  The charge is$20 per table.

-Performing Arts Training Classes-

  Performing Arts Training classes will provide students with the tools needed to become performing arts students on the stage and in films.  This introductory class will familiarize students with theatre terminologies and acting techniques to prepare them for performing and/or speaking in a public arena.

•Ages 8-12 (Saturdays 11:30 am – 12:30pm

•Ages 13-16 (Saturdays 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm)

$20.00 Monthly Tuition Fee

   Drama Seminars will be offered on Saturdays February thru May for ages 16-Adult from 1 – 3 p.m.  The seminars will be instructed by thespians with a wealth of knowledge in the theatre arena.   Accomplished actor Willie W. Judson, Jr. will be the first instructor.  Mr. Judson has studied theatre at both Buffalo State and Daemen Colleges, and specialized in the Stanislovsky method of theatre training.  He is also an actor, writer, producer, co-founder and artistic director of the People of Drama Acting ensemble, with whom he has written, directed and produced 18 original plays.  He is a theatre veteran with more than 40 years of theatrical experience and numerous productions throughout Western New York.  His credits include directorial, stage, television and film.  The Drama Seminar’s class participants will be able to learn the necessary techniques to become a performing artist.  The class will provide an opportunity to artists for networking with each other from a creative standpoint, and an opportunity to challenge their own assumptions, prejudices and perceptions about being a performing artist.   The fee is $40 Monthly Tuition/or $10 per class.

-Buck, Boogie, Bop and


   February 17, 18 at 8 p.m. and February 19 at 4 p.m. in conjunction with Buffalo State College the Paul Robeson Theatre will present Buck, Boogie, Bop and Beyond:  The Black and Brown of Broadway Musical.  An homage to the contributions of artists from the African diaspora to American musical theater, BBB&B is a song, dance and narrated musical review developed and mounted on students from Buffalo State’s Theater and Music departments.  The production is conceived, directed and choreographed by Carlos R.A. Jones, Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.

-March Stage Production-

Continuing with the Paul Robeson Theatre Season, Harris will direct the next stage production In The Continuum written by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter which opens March 10th.  In the Continuum puts a human face on thedevastating impact of AIDS in Africa and America through the lives of two unforgettably courageous women.  Living worlds apart, one in South Central LA and the other in Zimbabwe, each experience a kaleidoscopic weekend of life changing revelations in this story of parallel denials and self-discoveries. The production will run Fridays, Saturdays 8:00 pm and Sunday 4:00pm 

   Please come out and support your performing arts institution. For more information on any or all of these productions or classes please call the African American Cultural Center at 884-2013 or e-mail paulrobesontheatrebuffalo@gmail.comProductions will be at the African American Cultural Center 350 Masten Avenue