SEW Productions / Lorraine Hansberry Theatre

For General Operating Support

  • Amount
  • Program
  • Date Awarded
  • Term
    24 Months
  • Type of Support
    General Support/Organization
The SEW Productions/Larraine Hansberry Theater (The Hansberry) is one of the nation’s foremost producers of plays by African-American playwrights about the African-American experience. Founded in San Francisco in 1981 by Artistic Director Stanley Williams and Executive Director Quentin Easter, The Hansberry was a West Coast artistic home for giants of the American stage including August Wilson and more recently has achieved critical acclaim for adapting works by Toni Morrison and James Baldwin for the stage. The versatile company presents a 5 play season that ranges from dramatic work to cross disciplinary productions such as its popular holiday gospel revue "Black Nativity." Focused on creating opportunities and visibility for African American writers, actors and directors the Hansberry has successfully built a loyal and multi-racial audience. In 2008 the Hansberry attracted 20,000 people primarily from San Francisco and Oakland to its performances, half of them African-American, In 2007 the company was forced to vacate its 300 seat Union Square theater and renewed support will provide stability for the company through its current nomadic incarnation. In the proposed grant period the Hansberry will produce a shortened season of original work, and co-presents African American themed work with fellow Hewlett Foundation grantees (such as Berkeley Repertory Theater, The Magic Theater, Theatreworks and the San Francisco Opera) and continue its search for a new permanent home.
About the Grantee
Grantee Website 
762 Fulton Street, Suite 204, San Francisco, CA, 94102, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for general operating support  
SEW Productions/Lorraine Hansberry Theatre creates theater by, for, and about African American people and other people of color. It is one of approximately 100 African American theaters in the United States. Each year, the organization creates at least one full production, in addition to co-productions, a holiday concert, and a series of staged readings that reach more than 3,000 people. Funding will support the organization to continue to produce theater, and bring on a new artistic director in 2017.

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