Message from
L. Peter Callender


The time has come when we, as a company of theater artists, directors, administrators must decide upon a path that will ensure the continued success of our theater and the programming that serves thousands of students; our ability to employ the hundreds of actors and artisans we hire; and our support of the diverse communwity African-American Shakespeare Company has served for over 20 years.

We are in a serious struggle to save this life force. We are fighting to maintain a roof over heads: a welcoming theater home to carry on our work of nurturing up-and-coming artists of color (and those who might not have the same opportunity) by training them under some of the finest veteran actors and directors the Bay Area has to offer. A space where our family of subscribers and patrons, designers and especially the youth of our community can call home. We are in a fight for the very existence of these values and dreams. This credited, award-winning company cannot go the way of so many other companies in the Bay Area and disappear! The time has come to step in and step it up!

African-American Shakespeare Company has proudly called the African American Arts and Culture Complex our home for the past 10 years. Its 200-seat Buriel Clay Theater has witnessed the rise in the quality of performances and production values; the laughter and the tears; the thrill of exacting performances, exciting programming and growth of audiences, funding, community involvement and most-deserving awards. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to be at this space.

The business operations model of the Complex has changed under the new leadership, which has made it increasingly difficult to produce our works. The leadership has reduced our rehearsal time, tech time, and preview times. As you all know, without these vital hours of hard work to craft the works that have made us the premiere company presenting the classics reimagined and “With Color”, it is IMPOSSIBLE to produce theater. Period!

We simply cannot swim in the sand! African-American Shakespeare Company must move forward.
We need your help

African-American Shakespeare Company MUST RAISE $50,000 before the end of October for our season and to insure the needed boost to plan for the future.

Here’s what YOU can do. Say YES to

  1. Making a donation IN ANY AMOUNT to support our search and procurement of our new location
  2. Becoming a SUBSCRIBER (join us in the audience and celebrate the legacy)
  3. Tell 10 other people to follow steps 1 and 2 (we cannot do it alone, we need everyone to be advocates at this critical juncture)

We are writing to YOU because you have said YES to us in the past.
You have said YES to supporting this company and its diversity in casting, artisans, and audience development.
You have said YES to our programming of free student matinees offering students and teachers an opportunity to see these American classics professionally performed and imaginatively conceived.

Say “YES I WILL!” to our new venture and see where this new energy leads us. Friend, share our vision of an arts community in need of theater that is diverse, culturally vibrant, and necessary.

Say, “YES I WILL!”


Thank you for your support of your African-American Shakespeare Company!

L. Peter Callender
Artistic Director

Sherri Young
Founder and
Executive Director
Dear Supporter,

After a critically-hailed successful year under the Artistic Direction of L. Peter Callender, The African-American Shakespeare Company is entering our 2016–17 Annual Campaign drive in support of our upcoming season of program and performances. Our goal is to raise $350,000 and thanks to our patrons, talent, and funders/supporters we are off to a great start.

As the only company of its kind in the country, the African-American Shakespeare Company needs your continued financial support to preserve its legacy as a viable and culturally vital arts organization that presents work rich in cultural diversity and embraces actors and audiences from all communities.

Your invaluable support enables us to present challenging new concepts in theater, assist minority artists in honing their skills, and develop new adaptations. Your generous donation will go towards the development of our upcoming performances and programs this season plus a new added project that will provide national visibility to the organization.

Please do not hesitate to give today. We will gladly acknowledge your much-needed and greatly appreciated tax-deductible contribution in our season program as well as on our website. Act now by clicking on the button on the right and invest in our shared goal and vision.

We hope you will join us this season and thank again you for your continued support of our mission of “Envisioning the Classics with Color”.

Sherri Young
Founder and Executive Director
L. Peter Callender
Artistic Director
Jay Ward
Donate Now
We value each and every contribution, no matter how small or large. Thank you for supporting our cause.
Go to secure donation page

Donors Who Said YES!

Scott Cuyjet
Terry Lamb
Susan Harloe
Lynette Lockett
Carol Savary
Bernard Weiner
Tom Lederer
Sarah Lightfoot
Yolanda Willams
David Kirby
Jeffrey Raz
Justin Wong
Carol Lashof
Mary-Kay Gamel
Roy Bergstrom
Regina Morones
Jill Nierman
Rachel Kayhan
Ruth Mankin
Claus Zielke
Dianne Millner
Wayne Kitchen
Brenda Paulin
Latondra Goode
Betsy Clark
Edward Baskauskas
Johnnie Baker
Karen Adams

Director Darryl Jones