Founded initially as a traveling theater company in 1970 by playwright, director and filmmaker Carl Clay, Black Spectrum Theatre today produces theater, film and video works which examine issues of concern to African-American, Caribbean-American and Latino populations.
The company’s theater is located in a recreational complex within Roy Wilkins Park, Queens. The 325-seat theater space also doubles as a film/video studio. The complex also contains rehearsal spaces and a small cabaret theater.
Past Black Spectrum Theatre Company productions—all of which are by emerging playwrights and directors—have included The New Hardware Store; Jar the Floor; and the children’s play, Magic Crown.
Additional programs for children include the Youth Theater Company, the Children’s Theater Company and the Summer Theater Camp.
Black Spectrum offers in-school workshops in music, production, digital video, sign language, movement and theater. Classes are held on weekends and during the after-school hours.
Its summer camp offers professional theater classes and a selection of culturally oriented field trips.
The theater provides programs to public schools in underserved communities. They give instruction and performances in theater, music recording, African drumming, digital video production, sign language, dance movement and chorus. The company currently operates in 10 schools in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.