- Crossroads Theatre
Crossroads Theatre is a prize-winning theatre located in New Brunswick, New Jersey and founded in 1978. It is the winner of the 1999 Regional Theatre Tony Award.
The Crossroads' mission statement says (in part) that:
The Crossroads Theatre Company is dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre of the highest standards of artistic excellence that celebrates the culture, history, spirit and voices of the entire African Diaspora and presents honest and positive portrayals of people of color from around the world.
The Crossroads Theatre Company is dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre of the highest standards of artistic excellence that:
-Celebrates the culture, history spirit and voices of the entire African Diaspora
-Presents honest and positive portrayals of people of color from around the world
-Provides a nurturing working environment for writers and artistic collaborators though supporting the commissioning working environment for writers and artistic collaborators of new scripts
-uses art to provoke and challenge a multicultural audience to a higher sense of communion
-educates audiences by creating bridges of understanding between people of all cultural backgrounds in this society and the world
Crossroads Theatre Company, recipient of the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in the United States, is the nation's premiere African American theater. The American Theatre Critics Association together with the American Theatre Wing and the League of Regional Theatres and Producers presented the prestigious Tony Award to Crossroads in recognition of its 22-year history of artistic accomplishment and excellence. Crossroads is the first African American theater to receive this honor in the 33-year history of this special award category.
Crossroads continues to lead the nation with its commitment to literary works that examine the African American experience so that it may be understood and appreciated by all people. Crossroads' recent Tony Award and 20th Anniversary celebration are both indicative of the perseverance and vision of those who continue to support the theater. Both are of great significance, not only to the immediate Crossroads family of staff, subscribers and patrons, but also to the City of New Brunswick, the State of New Jersey, the nation and the legacy of Black theater itself. When co-founders Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson envisioned a space, where, as actors, the two young men could work on substantive, non-stereotypical roles. Little did they realize that their vision would grow into the major institution that it is today.
Crossroads has filled an otherwise empty space on the cultural canvas of the country and the world, with a collective body of work that remains unparalleled by any other theater in the nation. Crossroads forged its vision into reality through the development, production and touring of new works from throughout the African Diaspora, and positive imaging of African American life, history and culture. These honest theatrical portrayals helped move the consciousness of the nation forward and into the twenty-first century by building bridges of understanding and veracity between people of all backgrounds in this society and the world.
Crossroads' primary effort has been its four-play main stage season, where the many timbres of the African American experience have been given voice in full productions. Since its founding in 1978, Crossroads has produced over 100 works, many of which were premiere productions by the world's leading African and African American artists. Crossroads' world premieres include: The Colored Museum, which originated at Crossroads in 1986 and was then seen by millions on national public television when it was produced for WNETs "Great Performances," and Spunk, both by Tony Award@ winner George C. Wolfe.
Additional Crossroads world premieres include: The Love Space Demands, Ntozake Shange's choreopoem; Black Eagles by Leslie Lee, an historic chronicle of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II; Sheila's Day, the cultural collaboration of six South African and six African American women written by Sarafina! creator Mbongeni Ngema that toured the US. Britain and South Africa after its run on the Crossroads stage; Ruby Dee's stage adaptation of the novel, The Disappearance; Vernel Bagneris' worldwide hit musical, And Further'Mo; fonner U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove's first play, The Darker Face of the Earth; the award-winning Lost Creek Township by Charlotte A. Gibson; Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues; Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song and History of the Word.
Other noteworthy productions by Crossroads include: celebrated American playwright August Wilson's reworked play, Jitney; Flyin' West, written by Pearl Cleage and starring Ruby Dee (Kennedy Center) and Trazana Beverly and Olivia Cole (Crossroads); Nomathemba, a musical by Ntozake Shange and Joseph Shabalala, founder and leader of Grammy Award-winning South African recording artists Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Marian X's The Screened-In Porch; and Two Hah Hahs and a Homeboy, written by Ruby Dee and starring Ms. Dee, Ossie Davis and their son, musician Guy Davis.
Crossroads Theatre Company has long been recognized as the nation’s premiere African American theater. The American Theatre Critics Association together with the American Theatre Wing and the Lauge of American Theatre and Producers presented the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre to Crossroads in recognition of twenty years of artistic excellence.
Since its founding in 1978, Crossroads has filled an otherwise empty space on the cultural canvas of the country and the world. With a collective body of work that in many ways is unparalleled, Crossroads broke ground through the development, production and touring of new plays with positive images of African America life.
Over 50 new plays have premièred at Crossroads, including works by such esteemed artists as August Wilson, Anna Devere Smith, George C. Wolfe, Ntozake Shange, Migdalia Cruz, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Linda Nieves-Powell, former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove and South African writer/composer Mbongeni Ngema.
The canon of new plays created along with the list of artists nurtured at Crossroads has significant impact on the American Theater. The works created have moved the consciousness of the nation forward, building bridges of dialogue, understanding and veracity between people of all backgrounds in this society and the world.
Since its founding Crossroads has produced over 100 works including many premiere productions by leading African and African American artists. Crossroads' productions include:
- The Colored Museum (by George C. Wolfe), (world premiere) originated at Crossroads in 1986 and later appeared on television as one of WNETs "Great Performances"
- Spunk, also by George C. Wolfe, (world premiere). Mr. Wolfe is himself a winner of multiple Tony Awards.
- Jitney by American playwright August Wilson.
- Fly by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan October, 2009 (World Premiere)
- Sheila's Day by South African writer, Duma Ndlovu
- It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues by Ron Taylor and others.
- ^ McKinley, Jesse (June 3, 1999). "Spotlight On an Outpost Of Black Talent; A New Jersey Theater Steps Onto the Big Stage". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/06/03/theater/spotlight-outpost-black-talent-new-jersey-theater-steps-onto-big-stage.html. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- ^ Crossroads Web Site
Coordinates: 40°29′36.9″N 74°26′38.11″W / 40.493583°N 74.4439194°W
Regional Theatre Tony Award (1976–2000)
Arena Stage (1976) · Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum (1977) · Long Wharf Theatre (1978) · American Conservatory Theater (1979) · Actors Theatre of Louisville (1980) · Trinity Repertory Company (1981) · Guthrie Theater (1982) · Oregon Shakespeare Festival (1983) · Old Globe Theatre (1984) · Steppenwolf Theatre Company (1985) · American Repertory Theatre (1986) · San Francisco Mime Troupe (1987) · South Coast Repertory (1988) · Hartford Stage (1989) · Seattle Repertory Theatre (1990) · Yale Repertory Theatre (1991) · Goodman Theatre (1992) · La Jolla Playhouse (1993) · McCarter Theatre (1994) · Goodspeed Musicals (1995) · Alley Theatre (1996) · Berkeley Repertory Theatre (1997) · Denver Center for the Performing Arts (1998) · Crossroads Theatre (1999) · Utah Shakespearean Festival (2000)
Complete list · (1976–2000) · (2001–2025)Categories:
- Tony Awards
- Tony Award winners
- Regional theatre in the United States
- Theatres in New Jersey
- African-American culture
- African American theatre
- Theatre companies in New Jersey
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