Black Theatre and Dance Program

black theatre and dance program banner - wayne state

Mission and Goals
The Black Theatre and Dance Program (BTDP) is an integral part of the Wayne State University Department of Theatre & Dance. The BTDP endeavors to engage with the community about the black experience through the presentation of new and established theatrical productions, complemented by social and cultural outreach programming.


We aspire to:
• increase public awareness of the significant contributions of the Black experience within the world of theatre and dance.
• create an on-going dialogue with our community as it pertains to the black experience in theatre and dance.
• entertain and educate the community by offering theatrical works that bring awareness to issues that affect the Black Community.
• develop future Black theatre and dance artists and scholars
• provide community outreach opportunities for the greater Detroit Area and beyond

Black Theatre and Dance Program's
Touring Ensembles
Click an image below to learn more about the Freedom Players and To Sangana
Freedom Players - Theatre
To Sangana - Dance


Did you know you can book the Freedom Players or To Sangana to perform at your school or event?

Meet the Artistic Directors
Artistic Directors - BTDP
Artistic Directors of the Black Theatre and Dance Program (Pictured, L to R)
Karen Prall, Billicia Charnelle Hines, Dr. RAS Mikey Courtney
Created by Billicia Charnelle Hines, Dr. RAS Mikey Courtney, and Karen Prall, the Social Justice Project is a devised theatre and dance performance which illuminates and engages students in Detroit Public Schools Community District in current socio-political challenges, utilizing teaching artists through performance and conversation on race and privilege as a means of bridging communities.
"An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times… At this crucial time when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don't think you can help but be involved." – Nina Simone

Why is there a need for a minor Black Theatre and Dance? How will it help me in the future?

The world we live in is no longer monolithic, so it's imperative that everyone broadens their understanding of the Black/African American cultural contributions to theatre and dance. In this time it's important that we seek to understand more than just White/Eurocentric culture. Our Black Theatre and Dance minor educates all of our students about the history of the African diaspora in relation to on theatre and dance. By expanding our programs within the department we promote a more integrated approach to the diversity of culture within theatre and dance. This will allow our students to be more versatile, professionally competitive, culturally empathetic, and more aware of our every growing diverse society.