About – Colored People's Theatre


The official blog for the Colored People's Theatre Collective. CPT, founded circa 2010, is a theatre collective whose mission is to explore, challenge and impact how race and diversity are seen on stage. As theatre professionals, we realize that theatre is not created in a vacuum; it is a collaborative entity. Everyone involved (marketing, artistic, ticket sales, community engagement, development, etc.) is responsible for shaping the work that is ultimately produced on stage. Additionally, once a work has been presented on stage, the audience can shape, interpret, and tailor the work to fit their sensibilities. Our goal is to address how both audiences and those who make theatre, see race and diversity and how that impacts the final product.



Brought to you by Colored People's Theatre


  1. Anonymous — I would like to submit a script for your consideration, can you provide me your submissions policy?Thanks,

    Would love to get a script from you. Email us. coloredpt@gmail.com

  2. for colored girls… Media Wrap-up


    Here is a list of all of the press from our summer production of for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf

    Thank you to everyone who supported our work. There is SO much more to come!

  3. What a run!


    The first show in CPT history has come and gone. Thanks to everyone who supported us. Look forward to more from us in the near future!!!

  4. The reviews are in! It’s not too late to get your ticket!!!


    for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf opened as part of the Capital Fringe Festival last Friday (July 8) to amazing critical response. Check out what’s been said!

    WASHINGTON CITY PAPER: “an audience completely enraptured by what they had just witnessed. There were teary-eyed faces, celebratory shouts and audience members hugging it out”

    DCIST: “The first show of CPT’s inaugural production was magical”

    DC THEATRE SCENE: “A heartfelt infusion of poetry, dance, and song, told by an unflinchingly multi-talented cast of women, for colored girls… is a worthy inaugural production”

    Thank you to everyone who showed up to the first show. We still have FOUR shows left. Don’t miss out!!

    Buy your tickets here!

    Performances:

    • Saturday July 16 @ 9:30pm
    • Thursday July 21 @ 6pm
    • Saturday July 23 @ Noon
    • Sunday July 24 @ 8:30pm

     All Performances at Studio Theatre (1501 14th St. NW, Washington, DC)

    Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to CPT!

    See you in the theater!

  5. And we’re off!


    Last night we opened our inaugural production! 

    It was such an amazing experience. Thank you so much for people who came out and showed their support. 

    Four more shows to go! See you there!!!

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  6. For Colored Girls…


    I was introduced to For Colored Girls… at the ripe age of 5 when my mom and dad announced one Saturday afternoon that my favorite Aunt would be baby sitting me and my little brother because they were going to a play.  “A play?  What play?  And why can’t I go?”  I was 5 going on 28 so this was a shock that my parents were not taking me along.  My mother explained that the play was very serious and no children were allowed to see it.  I was appalled, offended and insulted.  I could handle anything and they were not giving me the benefit of the doubt.  I vowed to see For Colored Girls …when I grew up and I would not let them go with me. (I didn’t know the rest of the title because my parents would only say the first three words knowing if they said the rest of the title, I’d be pestering them about what the word ‘suicide’ meant.) The next day, I asked my mom what the play was about and she stone-walled me again.  I couldn’t believe it.  I thought we were best friends and she betrayed me by not letting me in on this story.  

    At the age of 6, I stayed up late one night watching the Miss Black America contest on my black and white TV ( I know I’m telling my age now) although I was supposed to be in bed asleep, I turned out my light and kept the volume down low on the TV so that I could watch and listen to the beautiful black women sing, dance and act on the screen.  Lo and behold, the host announced that one young lady would perform a monologue from For Colored Girls…  FINALLY, I would get to see what all the fuss was about.  As the brown skinned woman donning a short cropped afro and bright eye shadow under false eye lashes started to speak, I felt chills on the back of my neck, while my little face was propped right up in the screen so that I could hear every word she said.  I was terrified by her monologue that ended  with tears streaming down her face.   I quickly cut the TV off, jumped in my bed and pulled the covers over my head.  I never wanted to see any part of that play again.  

    As the years passed and I started acting, I became intrigued by what I had seen.  Was it good acting?  I didn’t know but I was enthralled by the contestant’s ability to emote and I was also fascinated by the scary story she told.  At Spelman years later, I had the opportunity to rehearse and perform a monologue as the Lady in Yellow.  Even though I wanted to relate, I still felt disconnected from the experiences in the script.  Where was my voice in this play, I asked myself, still not quite understanding it.  As a child of the 70’s, I was excited that we were not changing any of the historical references in the play since I’ve sort of glamorized those earlier time periods in my mind.  I love the music of the 60’s and 70’s and I wanted to challenge myself to embrace the intensity I ran from those many years ago on my black and white TV. 

    At age 5 and even 21, I didn’t understand the myriad of experiences (sometimes euphoric and other times traumatic) that often occur during a Black woman’s journey in search of love.  But as somebody said, “if you are fortunate to live long enough, you’ll understand”.  And so, I get it now.  The poetry Ntozake has allowed the Lady in Blue to speak grapples with thought versus feeling.   The Lady in Blue has so many levels in that she transforms from being a teenager in love with music, poetry and dance to a woman forced to deal with some emotionally and physically devastating experiences and ultimately, she thinks she can eliminate the emotional pain by removing herself from the world.  

    As Lady in Blue, I have been forced to examine what thinking my way outta feeling or emoting too much does to me both on and off the stage: as the character, as the actress playing the character and as myself.  Dontcha just love it when theatre is cathartic?! My realization is that I don’t believe its possible to value one over the other.  We think and feel.  We are emotional, thinking and loving creatures.  My character has to accept it and as Director Jude says…”deal with it”.  Spiritual evolution resolves the conflict in the psyche between thought and emotion for the Lady In Blue.  Tomorrow night, I look forward to speaking Ntozake’s words as the Lady in Blue with thought, feeling, spirit and love.

    See you there…
    Michelle Rogers   ——-  The Lady In Blue

  7. Being On Pupose!! Got Ticket???


    Hello Again… Family, Friends, Fabs, & Fans I HOPE YOU ALREADY GOT YOUR TICKETS!!! They are going like hot cakes. I am so proud to be a part of this iconic work and a wonderfully tremendous ensemble of talented, dynamic and fearless women… that I must share so you bare witness and don’t miss this work!!! I have have been journaling, emailing and honestly day & night dreaming about this play. And here we are 2 days to open and I could just burst with glowing anticipation…but of course the work is not done yet. As we ready, we ready some more and our last and missing ingredient is simply…an audience=) that’s YOU!! SEE YOU ALL @ THE THEATRE!!!!! Bring a someone….My poem:

    BE ON PURPOSE 

    By Fahnlohnee Harris-Tate journaled 6/30/11

    Be on purpose

    In each and every moment

    Savor this God- given life

    Love “Me” as your wife

    Be on purpose

    In every and any step

    Forgive yesterday’s game

    Don’t forget tomorrow came

    Be on purpose

    From head to sole

    Create your own image not mine

    Take time to rhyme to the finish line

    Be on purpose

    Be on time

    Live & breathe your heart & soul

    For isn’t that the ultimate goal

    Fahnlohnee

    aka Lady in Red

  8. I’m super excited to announce that we received a mention in the DCist blog! They seemed to have enjoyed our brief preview at the DC Fringe Festival Preview event this past Friday and listed us as one of the shows you want to see!! 

    So blessed to be receiving this kind of buzz before we open!

    Don’t be left out! Get your tickets here!!!


    COLORED PEOPLE'S THEATRE GETS FIRST MENTION!!

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  9. Working at Arena Stage made me more aware of the arts blogosphere. I never knew there were so many people out there writing and thinking about issues surrounding the arts, issues that affected my daily life, and now, affect this company as we start out.

    The most recent blog post(s) that created some great conversation is Diane Ragsdale’s Jumper blog and her post about “good” work. After reading the post, linked above, it got us to thinking, is CPT doing “good” work?

    Good work is defined as work that is excellent, engaging and ethical. We will be able to answer the excellent question in a few short days (do you have your tickets yet?!)! I think we’ve given notice that the work we are looking to do is engaging. At our first public reading, we had a large number of audience members stay after for the talk back. In conversations we’ve had with the DC community and the blogosphere (twitter-world) we see our place in the ecology. What we are unsure of is the ethics question? 

    Diane’s post primarily focuses on how the Baby Boomers established the arts models we subscribe to today. As we begin CPT’s journey, we all have the “toilet bowl scrubbing” mentality. We are finding out that we enjoy scrubbing our own toilets much more than we like scrubbing the big toilets for other people to shit in. Will we still chose that option when we get the big toilets? We LOVE for our artists to contribute in the decisions being made. We feel like the spirit of collaboration is the best way to get work done. If we had an honest moment, and truly reflected on that choice, will we find out that it is only because we are severely understaffed and overworked? Once we get more people on board, will we still prioritize our artists? 

    These questions are so important for us to always hold at our core. Right now, it is so easy to things the “right way” but will it be so easy down the road? Next year? 5 years from now? 20 years from now? I hope so. I hope we don’t turn into the same organizations we criticize and who became the catalyst for establishing CPT. Time will tell. I can only hope we past time’s test.

    -Jude


    ARTICLE SHARE: "It may be excellent work … but is it good?"

  10. A Dream Come True!


    I had no idea when I moved to DC less than two years ago that this day would come. Now here we are, TWO WEEKS away from opening the first show in CPT’s history! Wow! What a ride!

    It is a testament to the belief we all had in the work and the desire to create a space where we can explore the complexities of race and its role in theatre.

    The hard work that goes into producing and directing a show can distract you so much that you forget to enjoy the journey. I have to admit, until I got the inspiration to pen this post, I forgot just how much fun this has been. I can honestly say I’ve never had this much fun doing anything in my life.

    I can not wait for you all to see this show. You are going to love it. Our love and devotion permeates through each line. You don’t want to miss this.

    Ok, I have to go and do some more work on the show. I’ll see you in the theater!

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