MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nestled in the heart of Midtown you can find the Hattiloo Theatre. The black theatre company offers a unique experience for those both young and old.
Founder and CEO Ekundayo Bandele said Hattiloo is the only freestanding black repertory theatre in five surrounding states.
“Our specialty is African American Theatre,” Bandele said. “So, we produce plays that are either written by or about black people here in America or throughout the diaspora.”
Founded in 2006, Hattiloo is currently in its 13th season.
Renown plays like Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls and August Wilson’s Fences have been produced and performed on stage.
The theatre has also performed plays written by Memphis natives.
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“We have a play that opens this Friday by a Memphian,” Bandele said. “Jireh Breon Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket. It was in Off-Broadway and Roundabout Theatre. This is a young man making waves not just in the black theatre world, but in the theatre world.”
The Hattiloo Theatre is named in honor of Ekundayo’s two daughters Hatshepsut known as Hattie and Oluremi who goes by Loo.
Both of his daughters work at the theatre.
“It’s truly an experience,” Hatshepsut Bandele said. “And almost anyone from around America and probably the world too if they want to have a since of culture of African American Culture. This is the perfect place.”
Engaging over 5,000 people each year, the Bandeles said there’s always something to enjoy down at the Hattiloo.
“We’re just proud of Hattiloo Theatre, and every time I come here it makes me not want to leave,” Oluremi Bandele said.
The theatre announced the lineup for its 14th season Tuesday night.
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