The Inaugural Paul Robeson Theatre Festival

The Inaugural Paul Robeson Theatre FestivalJuly 18 – 19, 2014

The Robey Theatre Company is pleased to announce the inaugural Paul Robeson Theatre Festival, to be held July 18-19, 2014 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles. The Festival celebrates 20 years of the Robey Theatre Company, whose mission is to explore and develop relevant, provocative and innovative new plays written about the Black experience, as well as to reinterpret established works.

The Festival will honor the extraordinary achievements and legacy of social justice and human rights champion Paul Robeson as well as demonstrate the Robey Theatre Company’s commitment to community by providing artists opportunities to display and cultivate their craft.

The Festival kicks off on Friday July 18 with a reading of Paul Robeson in Berlin written by Robert Coles and Bartley McSwine, followed by a reception.

On Saturday, July 19, the Festival will feature the performance of a series of short one-act plays, featuring the work of both emerging and accomplished playwrights, actors, and directors, many of whom are alumni of Robey’s productions and workshops. For some of the artists, this festival will mark the first time their work is shared in a public forum.

The Inaugural Paul Robeson Theatre Festival

The following works, which reflect upon, celebrate or demonstrate an aspect of Paul Robeson‘s principles or values, will be presented on Saturday, July 19:

  • Deep Rivers, written by La’Chris Jordan, directed by Dwain A. Perry
  • Eslanda Unplugged, written by Nui Brown, directed by Robert Clemons
  • ETHIOP-ICA, written by Julie Taiwo Oni, directed by Adleane Hunter
  • Greenwood 1964, written and directed by Mohammed Ali Ojarigi
  • H.U.A.C., written by Dr. Alicia Tyler, directed by Dylan Southard
  • I SHOT the SHERIFF, written by Levy Lee, directed by Ben Guillory
  • La Loteria, written by Sophia Washam, directed by Josiah Davis
  • Miss Pauline, written by Cornell Hubert Calhoun, III, directed by Dwain A. Perry
  • out:side, written and directed by Ryan Anderson
  • Plantin, written by George Corbin, directed by Robert Clemons
  • Rules of the Debate, written by Inda Craig-Galván, directed by Adleane Hunter
  • Say Something, written by Dominique Miller, directed by Tommy Hicks
  • The Agreement, written by Kurt Maxey, directed by Dylan Southard
  • The Rhythm Keepers, written by Kellie Dantzler, directed by Adleane Hunter
  • We Wear the Mask, written by Paula Neiman, directed by Ben Guillory

The Inaugural Paul Robeson Theatre FestivalA reading of Paul Robeson in Berlin

Opening night, Friday July 18th, features a reception and reading of Paul Robeson in Berlin written by Robert Coles and Bartley McSwine

In 1935, Paul Robeson and his wife Eslanda (“Essie”)  were en route to Moscow and had a stopover in Berlin when they were harassed by Nazi officers who mistook Essie for a white woman.  The encounter marked a decisive turning point in Robeson’s commitment to social activism worldwide.

Schedule of Events

Friday, July 18, 2014: Reception and reading for Paul Robeson in Berlin, by Robert Coles and Bartley McSwine

Doors open at 6pm
Reception at 7pm
Reading at 8pm

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A series of one-act plays, beginning at 1pm with two 30 minute intermissions. (Details of the order of plays and the intermissions TBA)


The Downtown LATC
514 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA. 90013

Reception in the Main Lobby and plays are in Theatre #1

paul and eslanda

Paul and Eslanda returning to New York after Paul’s European concert tour, October 1935. (courtesy of United Press International.)

Tickets and Pricing

Friday, July 18 – $25
Saturday, July 19 – $35
Festival Pass (Friday and Saturday) – $50

Or call (866) 811-4111

The Robey Theatre Company was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Bartley McSwine, co-writer of the play, Paul Robeson in Berlin. We offer our deepest condolences to his family.