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Includes materials on the following African-American performing arts companies and venues: August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Kuntu Repertory Theatre, New Horizon Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights, and the Wilkinsburg Arts Theatre.
There are tens of thousands of programs in the Ford E. and Harriet R. Curtis Theatre Collection of Pittsburgh Theatre Programs. These programs date from the 1840s to this season's productions from current performing arts groups in Pittsburgh. Kept with the programs are newspaper clippings, marketing materials, photographs, and memorabilia related to the theatres and performing arts companies.
Within the Ford E. and Harriet R. Curtis Theatre Collection of Pittsburgh Performing Arts Photographs are over one thousand images related to the history of the performing arts in Pittsburgh. They include images of Pittsburgh theatre venues and local arts groups' production photos.
Curtis Theatre Collection
The Ford E. and Harriet R. Curtis Theatre Collection was established to document the history of the performing arts in Pittsburgh. Over the last several years we have made progress in developing our holdings related to Pittsburgh's African-American performing arts companies.
Images from the Curtis Theatre Collection
Little Willie Armstrong Jones flyer, 1975
Dr. Vernell Lillie
Pittsburgh Black Theatre Dance Ensemble, 1971
Black Nativity program, 1989
Kuntu Repertory Theatre Records and Dr. Vernell Lillie Papers
The Kuntu Repertory Theatre was founded in 1974 by Dr. Vernell Lillie and Rob Penny. For over 35 years, Kuntu was the predominant African-American performing arts group in Pittsburgh. With roots in the Black Arts Movement, Kuntu provided a platform for black artists and technicians and examined African-American experiences with the goal of creating personal growth and social change. The group staged over 100 productions before it ceased operations in 2013. This collection contains materials relating to Kuntu’s organizational history, it’s mission, and it’s theatre productions, such as scripts, designs, photographs, promptbooks, and audio-visual materials.
The Bob Johnson Papers contain paper based, photographic, and audio-visual materials related to the Brooklyn born, Pittsburgh based, dancer/choreographer, actor and director. Johnson founded the Pittsburgh Black Theatre Dance Ensemble and served as a dance and drama lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Robert Johnson toured internationally as a dancer and participated in a number of local, Broadway, and Off-Broadway productions as an actor, choreographer, and director.
The University Library System (ULS) at the University of Pittsburgh has acquired the archive of the late playwright and Pittsburgh native son August Wilson, best known for his unprecedented American Century Cycle —ten plays that convey the Black experience in each decade of the 20th century. All ten of the plays have had Broadway productions and two earned Wilson the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.