Exciting News from Columbus! — AAPEX Archive , Columbus Lincoln Theatre , Hines — AAPEX

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Exciting News from Columbus!

Maurice Hines has been named as artistic director of the Lincoln Theatre in Columbus, Ohio, which is the vital center of Columbus' African-American community. Hines visited the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute earlier this year, as the Institute became the Lincoln Theatre Archive. He was particularly impressed by the presence of the African-American Playwrights Exchange Archive at the Institute, and by the rich holdings documenting the work of African-American theatre artists in the Institute. There will be extensive collaborations between the Lincoln Theatre, the Lawrence and Lee Institute, and Ohio State's Department of Theatre.

The Lincoln was opened in November 1928 as the Ogden Theatre and Ballroom. It was built through a collaboration between local African-American real estate owner and entrepreneur Al Jackson, African-American fraternal organization the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, and African-American construction company owner Carl Anderson. Jackson was determined to provide the community with a theatre which catered specifically to African-American patrons and performers, and engaged the fraternal organization to manage it and Carl Anderson to build it.

The name was changed to the Lincoln Theatre in 1938, and over the years, hosted jazz greats including Madame Rose Brown, Harry Edison, Tiny Bradshaw, Stomp Gordon, Hank Marr, and Rusty Bryant, along with legends such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Etta James, James Brown, and Columbus native Nancy Wilson. One of the most notable pieces of history was the debut of a three-year-old Sammy Davis Jr., who ran on stage to dance at the Lincoln in his first recorded performance.

The Lincoln was abandoned in the early 1970s and sat empty for three decades. Now owned by the City of Columbus, the theatre is undergoing an $11,000,000 restoration, and is a major factor in the revitalizing of the King-Lincoln District, the center of the historically African-American neighborhood in Columbus. The theatre is home to the Jazz Arts Group, and houses concerts, classes, and many community events, including productions from the Columbus Childrens' Theatre. Hines will helm three productions at the Lincoln Theatre each year in the genres of musical theatre, dance and concert performance, all in collaboration with local African-American performance artists and groups in residence at the Lincoln. Also while in Columbus, Hines will hold a jazz/hip hop dance workshop for young people.

The Lincoln Theatre is managed by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA); for more information on the Lincoln and its history, visit http://www.capa.com/columbus/venues/lincoln_about.php

1 comment:

  1. Even though this has come very late, those of us that live near the "New" Lincoln AREN'T a part of its rebuilding. Since there is NO MINORITY BUSINESS "SET-ASIDE" PROGRAM in place anymore there is NO TRUE African- American input in the Lincoln. It seems that government marketing has,again, trumped how we get our "INFORMATIONS". See the smoke before you follow those breadcrumbs children !