In the Community – History Detectives


The “Community as History Detective” is a new program offered by the Robey Theatre Company as part of its outreach to Los Angeles neighborhoods where we believe there is history to be discovered about the global Black experience as it was played out culturally over the decades.

Our first series of workshops invites participants to discover characters, stories, and events from the 1930’s through 1965 here in Los Angeles. Invited workshop leaders will facilitate. Our first workshop leader is Jaime Cruz, Educator, non profit administrator and former Director, Latino Museum of History Art & Culture. His workshop topic will be The Zoot Suiters on January 29, 2014 at 1:30pm – 3:30pm at The Southern California Museum, 6120 S. Vermont, Los Angeles, CA. 90044

The series of workshops is designed to allow individuals to use the history of Los Angeles to unfold, using plays, short stories, music and song lyrics to inspire imagination in other ways. Our efforts will be collected and published, on-line and in print. That creative material will be offered to Robey’s Artist-in-Residence, Levy Lee Simon this year. Levy Lee has been commissioned to write a play, focusing that play on Los Angeles and the Dunbar Hotel back in the day.

The stories, incidents, and characters introduced during this workshop series will become part of our collective story. Our Artist-in-Residence Levy Lee Simon, will determine how the stories will be used in the final play being developed about Central Avenue and the Dunbar Hotel.

The Vision Theatre
3341 West 43rd Place
Los Angeles, CA. 90008

This Weeks Workshop:

Under the guidance of Robey’s Producing Artistic Director Ben Guillory, we will use a scene provided by one of last week’s participants and will develop and rehearse it in order to give participants a sense of how a scene is theatrically created.

Upcoming Workshops:

  • Thursday, February 20, 2014
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014: History using music as our guide
  • Thursday, March 6, 2014
  • Thursday, March 20, 2014
  • Thursday, April 3, 2014
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014

Be on the lookout for more announcements for future “History Detective” events


Of the almost 200 theatres in Los Angeles, only four are devoted to serving the African-American community: the Town Street Theatre, Unity Players Ensemble, Ebony Repertory Theatre, and the Robey Theatre Company. Each of these organizations is committed to producing works that explore the Black experience. All support theatre artists of color in their search for artistic fulfillment and some provide time, educational opportunities, and encouragement for such growth while contributing to high standards of excellence in the Black theatre in America. Robey is the theatre that remains consistent with its focus on the progressive, on-going quality in its choice of projects and their execution.

In addition to its partnerships with other cultural organizations, Robey has worked with the commercial entertainment industry to expand opportunities for multi-cultural artists. In 1999, Robey also collaborated with Elephant Industries, Inc., to co-produce its highly-successful second production, “Bee-Luther-Hatchee.” Plays that have been read or produced by the Robey have been picked by such companies as HBO and Showtime for development as films. Robey’s long-time association with Carrie Productions, which provides Robey with support services, confirms that the industry can be supportive of the non-profit theatre which supply it with material. Network Television has partnered with Robey; CBS, ABC, and FOX have worked with the company on several diversity projects aimed at giving artists of color access to the industry.