About us

Ira Aldridge Repertory Players:   Our Mission is to create and produce theatrical works that reflect the African-American experience.

Core Principles:   – Create and present works that reflect the African-American experience.   –  Promote and present new works, with a focus on both musicals and plays.    – Find and present the universal message in each of the works to attract and involve a diverse and multicultural audience.

picture 10picture 11God’s Trombones -by James Weldon Johnson

picture4picture6The Gospel at Colonus by Lee Breuer                    Dancin’ in the Street by Calvin Manson

HISTORY:    At the beginning of the long hot summer of 1973, a University of California in San Diego student named Calvin Manson noticed the distinct absence of one rich and resonant voice within the arts communities of the San Diego at large.   He dedicated himself to giving that voice a platform from which it could be lifted and heard by all.   From his simple dream, Ira Aldridge Repertory Players was born and is now a nationally celebrated company.   It was founded as a vehicle for providing a creative environment in which restless, talented  “artists” could realize their creative potential as writers, dancers, artists and actors while promoting cultural understanding throughout the community. It has since grown to be an important cultural bridge between races and ethnicities through its productions.    Beginning as a humble “grassroots’ organization Ira Aldridge Repertory Players has evolved into a highly respected company that has promoted excellence in the performing arts with an emphasis on people of color.    Ira Aldridge Repertory Players produces quality plays, which reflect the African-American experience and help to illuminate the culture to the Southeastern area and throughout San Diego County.