Penumbra Theater creates professional productions that are artistically excellent, thought provoking, relevant and illuminate the human condition through the prism of the African American experience.
An all-star cast including Abdul Salaam El Razzac, T.Mychael Rambo, Thomasina Petrus, Jevetta Steele, Greta Oglesby and more took the stage on Monday June 11 to celebrate 35 years of Penumbra Theater. The event included audience testimonials and special appearances by fans such as Don Shelby, Josie Johnson and Faye Price. The audience was treated to scenes from shows, music arranged by Sanford Moore in this free flowing and energizing tribute to the nations first black theater.
Penumbra started in the Hallie Q Brown Center in 1976 as a SEDA program. 20 employees started to “put on shows” under the direction of Lou Bellamy. Despte with being a nationally and internationally recognized theater, Penumbra has had its struggles, including canceling two of the 2011-2012 shows.
Lou Bellamy recounted a conversation during one such economically challenging time.
Lou: “Raz, I want you to take this role. It will be great exposure for you.”
Abdul Salaam El Razzac: “What about pay?”
Lou: “Well, Raz. It will be great exposure for you.”
Raz: “Lou. Exposure is something people die from in Minnesota.”
And he took the role.
Currently James Baldwin’s “The Amen Corner” is showing at The Guthrie.