Roundabout Theatre & Black Theatre United Announce The Refocus Project


Roundabout Theatre Company announced today The Refocus Project through their continued committed to embracing its responsibility to reshape and refocus the parameters of the American theatre canon. The Refocus Project, an annual program dedicated to elevating rarely produced and formerly marginalized theatrical voices from communities underrepresented or historically overlooked in the American theatre.

The Refocus Project will feature a robust selection of materials, available to industry professionals and the public. Beginning April 23, a resource library built to encourage and assist with future productions of each title will be available in addition to the launch of a weekly online play reading series featuring the selected plays. Roundabout will work with theater makers and artistic directors nationwide to encourage viewership and future engagement in the plays, with the intended goal of future productions of these works at theatres across the country.

Roundabout’s 2021-2022 Broadway season will begin with Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. Childress is one of the first five playwrights in The Refocus Project. The Refocus Project will also offer historical information, educational tools, panel discussions with artists, a “Literary Ancestry” essay series curated by Dave Harris (Roundabout’s Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence) and a series finale Community Conversation hosted by Roundabout Education. A partnership with The New York Public Library – spanning its branches, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Library for the Performing Arts – will further engage audiences in these offerings.

The first series of play readings, presented in association with Black Theatre United, will spotlight twentieth-century Black plays and their playwrights: Angelina Weld Grimké, Shirley Graham Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Childress and Samm-Art Williams. The play series is free of charge. All suggested donations will directly support Black Theatre United. The second year of The Refocus Project will feature Latinx playwrights. To learn more about The Refocus Project please visit Roundabout.