Celebrate Black History Month!

Lincoln College is proud to present a dramatization of true historical events when The African Company Presents Richard III, opens Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Johnston Center for Performing Arts at Lincoln College.

The Lincoln College production will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-17 and on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. The play will continue the following Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m.

The play is set in New York in 1821, forty years before Lincoln ended slavery, and fifty years before black Americans earned the right to vote, and follows two competing theatre companies performing Shakespeare’s Richard III.

The African Company, the first black theatrical group in the country, was founded by William Henry Brown. The theatrical group opened the African Grove Theatre, which only lasted only a few years before it was burned down under suspicious circumstances.

This play was written by Carlyle Brown and is an imaginative incorporation of the historical events of The African Company’s presentation of Richard III along with some fictional characters from Brown’s imagination. The true story behind this play is an important stepping stone for African-American theater. Both black and white audiences flocked to the company’s Manhattan theatre and the drama of this progressive group reached further than their stage.

The African Company Presents Richard III premiered at The Public Theater in New York City in 1994.

Director is Doug Rosson, lead faculty for the Lincoln College Theatre Department. Katie Eickhoff is the technical director, while Jessica Sutton is in charge of lights and Jacqueline Ishmael is the stage manager. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Johnston Center box office at 217-735-7280.