Crossroads Theatre is a theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey, located in the city's Civic Square government and theatre district. Founded in 1978, it is the winner of the 1999 Regional Theatre Tony Award.[1]

It is an African-American Theater focused on celebrating the culture, artistry and voices of the African Diaspora.[2]

History

Rick Khan, Dan Irvin and Lee K. Richardson met at Rutgers University studying for their Masters of Fine Art Degree. After graduating in 1977 they founded the company in 1978[3] With help from George Street Playhouse and grant money from the CETA program the theater began performing in New Brunswick and became New Jersey's first professional Black repertory theatre.[4][5] By 1985, it was thriving and had 1,300 subscribers.[6]

The company made an effort to appeal to a multiracial audience and while it started out focusing more on revivals by 1985 Artistic Director Lee Richardson was prioritizing new plays, saying "it's time to focus on the new"[7]

In 2000 it unexpectedly ceased operations temporarily but with the return of Rick Khan and help in retiring its debt it was able to resume operations.[8]

Since its founding, Crossroads has produced over 100 works, many of which were premiere productions by 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 WNET's "Great Performances," and Spunk, both by Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe.

Legacy

The American Theatre Critics Association together with the American Theatre Wing and the League of American Theatres and Producers presented the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre to Crossroads in recognition of 20 years of artistic excellence.[9]

More than 50 new plays have premiered at Crossroads, including works by such artists as August Wilson, Anna Deavere 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.

Productions

Since its founding Crossroads has produced over 100 works including many premiere productions by African and African-American artists. Crossroads' productions include:

References

  1. ^ 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. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
  2. ^ "Crossroads Theatre Company". www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  3. ^ Catinella, Joseph (1979-10-21). "State's First Professional Black". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  4. ^ Foster, Janet W. (May 26, 1988). "NRHP Nomination: King Block". National Park Service. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Catinella, Joseph (October 21, 1979). "State's First Professional Black Theater Is at a Crossroads". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (December 8, 1985). "Black Theater Thriving in New Brunswick". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Klein, Alvin (1985-09-22). "THEATER; CROSSROADS THEATRE IS AT A TURNAROUND". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  8. ^ Capuzzo, Jill P. (2003-06-08). "The Crossroads Theater Faces a New Fork in the Road". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  9. ^ "Regional Theatre Tony". American Theatre Critics Association. Retrieved 2022-01-16.

Coordinates: 40°29′36.9″N 74°26′38.11″W / 40.493583°N 74.4439194°W / 40.493583; -74.4439194