Production History

“Souls On Fire” 1996

January 1, 1997

“Souls On Fire” 1996

Souls On Fire

by Patrick Sheane Duncan

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“Yohen” 1999

January 1, 1999

“Yohen” 1999

Danny Glover and Nobu McCarthy in Philip Kan Gotanda’s Yohen

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“Bee-Luther-Hatchee” 1999

August 1, 1999

“Bee-Luther-Hatchee” 1999

August saw the West Coast premiere of Thomas Gibbon’s remarkable play “Bee-Luther-Hatchee”.

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“For The Love of Freedom Pt I: Toussaint” 2001

June 15, 2001

“For The Love of Freedom Pt I: Toussaint” 2001

Part 1 of Levy Lee Simon’s Haitian Trilogy ‘For The Love of Freedom (Toussaint) produced with The Greenway Court Arts Alliance

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“Discovered Voices” 2002

January 1, 2002

“Discovered Voices” 2002

Discovered Voices an evening of readings of scenes from new plays, First Fundraiser .

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“The Last Season” 2002

June 8, 2002

“The Last Season” 2002

With Chicago’s Legacy Productions, the companies produced Christophe Moore’s “The Last Season” directed by Legacy’s Chuck Smith. The production included noted film actor and Legacy co-founder Harry Lennix and Robey’s Artistic Director Ben Guillory as a part of the ensembles cast. The extended run played to packed houses and rave reviews.

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“For the Love of Freedom Pt II: Dessalines” 2003

September 6, 2003

“For the Love of Freedom Pt II: Dessalines” 2003

Part 2 of the Haitian Trilogy Levy Lee Simon’s For the Love of Freedom is produced.

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“For the Love of Freedom Pt III: Christophe” 2004

October 1, 2004

“For the Love of Freedom Pt III: Christophe” 2004

Part 3 “Christophe” of Levy Lee Simon’s Haitian Trilogy, “For The Love of Freedom” with Greenway Arts Alliance. It was an enormous undertaking for both theatre companies; a period piece with more than 30 actors, a set that encompassed the entire theatre and a theme that revealed the little known history of the successful Haitian Slave Revolt.

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“Permanent Collection” 2006

January 8, 2005

“Permanent Collection” 2006

Tom Gibbon’s Permanent Collection co-produced by Greenway Alliance is invited to launch CTG’s outreach efforts for their then new Kirk Douglas Theatre.

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“A Medley of One-Acts” 2007

January 1, 2007

“A Medley of One-Acts” 2007

With the Against Type Theatre Company, “A Medley of One-Acts” presented by the Los Angeles Theatre Company’s, Cultural Roundtable.

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“A House With No Walls” 2008

January 1, 2008

“A House With No Walls” 2008

“A House With No Walls”, the third in Tom Gibbon’s urban trilogy about race in America.

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“Bronzeville” 2009

April 4, 2009

“Bronzeville” 2009

Bronzeville Commissioned; world premiere introduces work about the Japanese American WWII experience as seen through the eyes of a black family living in LA’s Little Tokyo as the community goes bronze. Joseph A. Walker’s play The River Niger is produced.  

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“The River Niger” 2009

November 11, 2009

“The River Niger” 2009

Joseph Walker was among a handful of black playwrights who came to prominence during the Civil Rights era and won acclaim for their dramas about the black experience in America. This is a solid spirited revival of his 1974 Tony Award winning drama about a family tested by a critical moment of reckoning.

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“Harimaya Bridge” 2010

March 26, 2010

“Transitions In Three Acts” 2010

June 18, 2010

“Transitions In Three Acts” 2010

You’re born, you grow, you go to school, you graduate, you get a job, you get married, you get divorced, you have children, you get sick, you get well, you die. Whether transitions are brought on by external or internal forces, they’re nevertheless essential for one’s growth and development. What’s important is how a person chooses to either resist change or embrace it.

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“The Emperor’s Last Performance” 2010

June 29, 2010

“The Emperor’s Last Performance” 2010

The Emperor’s Last Performance, a new drama by Melvin Ishmael Johnson, is a historically significant work which deserves high praise. If this is common fare for the Robey Theatre Company’s Playwrights Lab and instructor Aaron Henne, then all aspiring playwrights should beat a path to their doors and clamor for their tutelage.

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“The Reckoning” 2010

September 25, 2010

“The Reckoning” 2010

The Robey Theatre Company, Ben Guillory Producing Artistic Director in association with The Los Angeles Theatre Center presents The Reckoning written by Kimba Henderson and directed by Ben Guillory. Set in 2005 The Reckoning is a fantastic story of a family struggling to keep a crawfish plantation running in Louisiana. It is an engaging story from the opening moment to the end, filled with wonderful characters. Spread out over countless generations with with loitering ghosts who believe they are the rightful heirs and who ultimately know a day of reckoning will come. And for that reason they wait. Even in death, families never forget. Run to see this production because it closes October 24, 2010.

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“Pity the Proud Ones” -Reading- 2011

January 30, 2011

“Pity the Proud Ones” -Reading- 2011

“Pity the Proud Ones” 2011

October 22, 2011

“Pity the Proud Ones” 2011

“Camp Logan” 2012

April 28, 2012

“Camp Logan” 2012

Camp Logan, a play about the Black 24th infantry in 1917 Texas had a successful run from April 28th to May 27th

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“The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years” -Reading- 2012

July 29, 2012

“The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years” -Reading- 2012

A public reading of Pearl Cleage’s “The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years”, directed by Jasmine Guy was held July 29th

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“Anna Lucasta” 2012

November 10, 2012

“Anna Lucasta” 2012

Anna Lucasta has left her Pennsylvania home to become a streetwalker in Brooklyn. Initially rejected by her father for her sinful life style, she is welcomed back into the bosom of her family as a plan is devised to match her up with Rudolf Slocum, the son of a family friend. But several of her family members have ulterior motives, namely to separate Rudolf, whom they perceive as a “hick,” from his bankroll. Only her mother, Theresa, and a sister-in-law, Katie, actually care what happens to Anna. Additionally, some of Anna’s former associates in Brooklyn want to continue exploiting her sexually.

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“Sassy Mamas” 2014

February 1, 2014

“Sassy Mamas” 2014

“Uncanny Valley” -Reading- 2014

February 23, 2014

Reading of Uncanny Valley by Thomas Gibbons, directed by Ben Guillory with Vanessa Bell Calloway and Jeff Manabat.

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“Knock me a Kiss” 2014

April 5, 2014

“Knock me a Kiss” 2014

Harlem in New York City was a vibrant time in American literature. The Harlem Renaissance boasts with pride about the literary giants that came from that era.

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“The Tallest Tree In The Forest” 2014

April 15, 2014

“The Tallest Tree In The Forest” 2014

“The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel” 2014

November 22, 2014

“The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel” 2014

World premiere of the Robey commissioned play The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel by Levy Lee Simon with 29 sold out shows!

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“No Place To Be Somebody” 2016

April 2, 2016

“No Place To Be Somebody” 2016

An extraordinary mixture of poetry, raw inner city urban dialogue, along with an engrossing and dangerous plot conjures up Johnny Williams’s bar circa Harlem 1969. We track Johnny, Gabe, the dreamers, schemers low life’s, hypocrites, and innocents as they navigate in and out of the metropolitan myth of a way out to would be success. A Black Black Comedy!!!

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“92 Grove Street” 2016

April 6, 2016

“92 Grove Street” 2016

Over 50 years ago, a fiery minister (Malcolm X) and a struggling writer (Alex Haley) began meeting late night in a small room to create what would become a touchstone book of the 20th century, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 92 GROVE STREET probes what went on in that room.

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“Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington” 2017

April 24, 2017

“Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington” 2017

“Birdland Blue” 2019

April 6, 2019

“Birdland Blue” 2019

1994

Robey Theatre Company founded by Danny Glover and Ben Guillory.

1995

Eighteen play readings

1996

Robey undertook its first production successfully mounting Patrick Sheane Duncan’s “Souls On Fire“. Robey also became a non-profit, tax exempt 501 (c)(3) organization and hired a part-time artistic director to oversee operations.

1999

1999 began as a banner year for Robey Theatre Company. Robey co-produced, with East-West Players, the world premiere of “Yohen“, a play by Phillip Kan Gotanda. August saw the West Coast premiere of Thomas Gibbon’s remarkable play “Bee-Luther-Hatchee“.

2000

Playwrights Lab launched.

2001

Levy Lee Simon’s Haitian Trilogy, “For The Love of Freedom Pt.I: Toussaint” with Greenway Arts Alliance was an enormous undertaking for both theatre companies; a period piece with more than 30 actors, a set that encompassed the entire theatre and a theme that revealed the little known history of the successful Haitian Slave Revolt. Robey and Greenway were nominated for 10 NAACP Image Awards and won three: Directing, Ensemble Acting, and Costume Design.

2002

With Chicago’s Legacy Productions, the companies produced Christophe Moore’s “The Last Season” directed by Legacy’s Chuck Smith. The production included noted film actor and Legacy co-founder Harry Lennix and Robey’s Artistic Director Ben Guillory as a part of the ensembles cast. The extended run played to packed houses and rave reviews.

2003

For The Love of Freedom Pt. II: Dessalines” was produced.

2004

For The Love of Freedom Pt.III: Christophe” was produced.

2005

Tom Gibbon’s “Permanent Collection” co-produced with Greenway Arts Alliance was a critical and audience favorite.

2006

“Permanent Collection” was invited to become part of the CTG’s season at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

2007

With the Against Type Theatre Company, “A Medley of One-Acts” presented by the Los Angeles Theatre Company’s, Cultural Roundtable.

2008

A House With No Walls“, the third in Tom Gibbon’s urban trilogy about race in America.

2010

Special Needs Network, Inc. (SNN), The Robey Theatre Company and Ebony Repertory Theatre presented the 1st annual “Shoulder to Shoulder: African-Americans, the Arts and Autism” on Thursday, February 25, 2010 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.

Harimaya Bridge” was released and had an extended run due to rave reviews. March 26th to April 8th.

The Emperor’s Last Performance“, a play about the play that changed theatre, was produced and developed through the Robey Theatre Company’s Playwrights Program. Ran March 26th to April 4th.

“Transitions”, a trilogy of one-act plays that features intense and colorful women who find themselves and their loved ones at the crossroads of life, was produced and developed through the Robey Theatre Company’s Playwrights Program. Ran June 18th to June 27th.

“The Reckoning”, a play revolving around one plantation, two families and so many secrets is produced and developed throught the Robey Theatre Company’s Playwrights Program. Ran September 25th to October 24th.

7 NAACP Theatre Awards Nominations for Robey:

  • Best Set Design: The River Niger – John Paul Luckenback
  • Best Ensemble Cast: The River Niger
  • Best Director: Bronzeville – Ben Guillory
  • Best Playwright: Bronzeville – Timothy Toyama and Aaron Woolfolk
  • Best Lighting: Bronzeville – Luke Moyer
  • Best Ensemble Cast: Bronzeville
  • Best Production: The River Niger, Robey Theatre Company, and Ben Guillory

 

Winner of 2 NAACP Theatre Awards:

  • Best Lighting: Bronzeville
  • Best Production: The River Niger, Robey Theatre Company, and Ben Guillory

2011 – More Info

A public reading of Kurt Maxey’s “Pity the Proud Ones” was held on Sunday, January 30th. The play was received well and thus placed into the 2011 Fall Season!

Pity the Proud Ones went on to run from October 20th to November 13th

Bronzeville goes to the Manzanar historical site for 5 performances May 19th – 23rd

12 NAACP Theatre Awards Nominations for Robey:

  • Best Set Design: Transitions – Victoria Bellocq
  • Best Sound: The Emperor’s Last Performance – Eric Butler
  • Best Director: Transitions – Dwain A. Perry
  • Best Playwright:
    • Transitions – Kellie Roberts
    • The Emperor’s Last Performance – Melvin Ishmael Johnson
    • The Reckoning – Kimba Henderson
  • Best Lead Male: The Emperor’s Last Performance – Dwain A. Perry
  • Best Supporting Male: Ther Emperor’s Last Performance – Robert Clements
  • Best Female Lead: The Reckoning – Toyin Moses
  • Best Ensemble Cast: Transitions
  • Best Producer:
  •      Transitions – The Robey Theatre Company and Ben Guillory
  •      The Reckoning – The Robey Theatre Company and Ben Guillory in Association with Latino Theatre Company

 

Winner of 5 NAACP Theatre Awards:

  • Best Set Design: Transitions – Victoria Bellocq
  • Best Playwright: Transitions – Kellie Roberts
  • Best Supporting Male: Ther Emperor’s Last Performance – Robert Clements
  • Best Sound: The Emperor’s Last Performance – Eric Butler
  • Best Producer: The Reckoning – The Robey Theatre Company and Ben Guillory in Association with Latino Theatre Company

2012 – More Info

Camp Logan, a play about the Black 24th infantry in 1917 Texas had a successful run from April 28th to May 27th

A public reading of Pearl Cleage’s “The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years”, directed by Jasmine Guy was held July 29th

Philip Yordan’s play Anna Lucasta was produced.

NAACP Theatre Awards

  • Best Sound Design (Local) – Kimberly McCord Wilson (Pity The Proud Ones)
  • Best Set Design (Local) – Miguel Montalvo (Pity The Proud Ones)

2013

NAACP Theatre Awards:

  • Best Playwright (Local) – Celeste Bedford Walker (Camp Logan)
  • Best Producer (local) – Ben Guillory Robey Theatre co., Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, JuVee Productions, Vanessa Paul and Alex Morris, Sparkling City Entertainment (Camp Logan).
  • Best Lighting (Local) – Sammie Wayne IV  (Camp Logan)
  • Best Set Design (Local) – Tom Meleck (Anna Lucasta)
  • Best Sound – Eric Butler (Anna Lucasta)
  • Best Supporting Female (Local) – Cydney Wayne Davis (Anna Lucasta)
  • Best Supporting Male (Local) Sammie Wayne IV (Anna Lucasta)

2014 -More Info

Camp Logan written by Celeste Bedford Walker | Feb 7 – Mar 23

Sassy Mamas written by Celeste Bedford Walker | Feb 1 – Mar 30

Uncanny Valley written by Thomas Gibbons | Feb 23 Reading

Knock Me A Kiss written by Charles Smith | Apr 5 – May 1

Tallest Tree in the Forest written and performed by Daniel Beaty

The Magnificent Dunbar written by Levy Lee Simon