Historically Black Hampton University in Virginia has announced the launch of the Hampton University Repertory Theatre. The university says that the new theatre is the only professional theater company housed at a historically Black college or university. Establishing a professional theatre on an HBCU campus provides a platform for professional theatre practitioners, playwrights, designers, directors, and actors to showcase world premieres and set the stage for theatergoers to enjoy many of their all-time favorites, according to the university.
The theatre has an impressive lineup of offerings that will take center stage beginning in the spring of 2023. Not only will Hampton Roads audiences benefit from the establishment of the Hampton University Repertory, but Hampton students will also have the opportunity to view professional theatre on their own campus. An additional benefit will be students’ opportunity to work alongside professional theatre practitioners as repertory interns.
“One of our goals is to present engaging, thought-provoking, professional theatre for the campus and community,” says Karen Turner Ward, artistic director for the Hampton University Repertory Theatre. Dr. Ward is the Old Dominion Endowed Professor of Fine and Performing Arts at Hampton University and has more than 30 years of experience in writing, directing, acting, and producing in theatre.
Dr. Ward joined the faculty at Hampton University in 1985. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she majored in drama. Professor Ward holds a master of fine arts degree in acting from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in criticism and public address from Regent University in Virginia Beach.