Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Fri, 01.08.1915

Karamu House, America’s oldest Black Theater Company

The founding of the Karamu House in 1915 is celebrated on this date.

Located in Cleveland, OH, the Karamu house is the oldest Black Theater Company in America.  Its first home was in an area called "The Roaring Third,” at the corner of East 38th and Central Avenue. The word Karamu comes from a Swahili word meaning "a place of feasting and enjoyment in the center of the community." The group was originally named the Dumas Drama Club, but the name was changed to the Gilpin Players after actor Charles Gilpin visited the group in 1923. The group name was changed to the Karamu Players in the 1940s and more "integrated" casting policy was encouraged.

Famous playwrights whose works were produced by the Karamu Theater include Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Lorraine Hansberry. Today, Karamu offers art experiences for people of all ages through a variety of programs. The three primary program areas are the Early Childhood Development Center, the Center of Arts and Education, and the Karamu Performing Arts Theatre.

It has classes for children, and an active seniors program. Karamu explores a broad range of the Black experience Through its many programs.

Karamu House
2355 East 89 Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44l06

Karamu House

To become an Actor or Actress



New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

When some people talk about money They speak as if it were a mysterious lover Who went out to buy milk and never Came back, and it makes me... The Good Life by Tracy K. Smith
Read More