When young people of color look to the stage for inspiration, they rarely see actors who look or sound like them and are even less likely to see their community’s experiences reflected in the storylines. Lindsay Krumbien recognized that theater’s financial and racial exclusivity was leaving out countless talented young would-be actors and she decided to found Gritty City Repertory for youth of color in Oakland, California. Classical productions like “Macbeth” and “Much Ado About Nothing” are revamped to reflect modern times and relevant social issues. Cast members learn to find their own voices and take the narratives into their own hands, changing dialogue to match their own and designing wardrobes that break the mold. A diverse enclave of actors and theatergoers is alive and well in Oakland, ensuring a brighter, more inclusive future for theater in the Bay Area.

Produced with the Hearst Journalism Awards Program