Keepers Of The Culture
Black Repertory Group Theater 3201 Adeline Street Berkeley, CA 94703 (510) 652-2120
Repertory Group's Mission
The Black Repertory Group's commitment to the arts and the community is
the cornerstone of our background and the basis for our beginning. Our
primary mission is to be the breeding ground for successful and talented
artists in a variety of genres with respect to the arts. Our focus is on
providing the direction and educational structures needed to enhance their
skills; and a venue that affords new talent to be showcased and critiqued by
local critics and peers. We are equally committed to bringing leadership
and commitment to the youth of our community. Young people and the
youth workshops have always been at the heart of the Theater's mission.
We offer a variety of community outreach programs designed to introduce,
educate, mentor and elevate a young person’s skills in the arts. The BRG
speaks to local high schools and provides on-the-job training and
internships to local youth interested in Theater arts.
"If my Mom, Nora Vaughn, were alive today, she'd tell you that the Black Repertory
Group Theater is a Revolutionary Theater that both of my parents initially started using
theater as a means to impart knowledge about the rich history of Black Americans way
back in Vicksburg, Mississippi where Mom and Dad were also high school teachers.
After three aborted attacks from the Ku Klux Klan, (Mom told me that one bullet just
missed my head in my baby bed) Mom finally convinced my Dad to leave so he could
scout-out and find a new home for us in California. Dad reluctantly left us behind in
Mississippi; and Mom continued to boldly use her "drama to inform and educate,"
joining Dad in California almost a year later when I was 3-years old.
"Running my late parent's Theater and Cultural Center is the most revolutionary thing
I've ever done; my family has always been involved in civil rights and revolutionary acts
from the 'Gate' because Mom & Dad taught us to be revolutionaries early on. My mother
was fierce. The power brokers at that time gave Mom so much resistance to building her
new Theater in the early 1980's that, after three dates that were not met and promises
not kept, Mom picketed City Hall (right outside the Mayor's office). We display her
picket-sign that states: HERE I SIT, TILL BLACK REP STANDS. Needless to say, Mom
received the "Approval" for construction to begin the very next day."
Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis nicknamed Birel and Nora Vaughn Keepers Of The Culture. The BRG fosters a creative environment that celebrates the artistic contributions of black artists throughout American history. With a two-fold mission, BRG provides opportunities to develop individual and young artists, and for our youth to discover a rich, black cultural heritage.