Keepers Of The Culture

 Black Repertory Group Theater  3201 Adeline Street Berkeley, CA 94703  (510) 652-2120

Dr. Mona Vaughn Scott, Executive/Artistic Director

"The Theater is used as a means to uplift the individual and in turn uplift the community."

An accomplished dancer, actress, writer, producer, director and teacher,

Dr. Mona Vaughn Scott has spent the last 35 years as the Artistic/Executive

Director of the Black Repertory Group (BRG) in Berkeley, California,

following her late mother, BRG founder Nora Vaughn. Dr. Scott mentors

actors, develops after-school programs, facilitates self-esteem building

workshops and utilizes performance to reach people affected by substance

abuse and violence. Dr. Scott earned her Ph.D. from Standford University

and has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career.

She was recognized by the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre for her

contributions to the arts and in 2001 received the Mayor of Berkeley,

California's Commendation for Mentoring in the Arts. She was also inducted

into the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame and received the

Washington, DC Ambassador's Youth Award for establishing the Inner-City

Youth Orchestra. Dr. Scott is also listed in
Who's Who in Black America and

holds a lifetime membership in Orchesis, the National Modern Dance

Society's honor organization.

History & Purpose of Black Repertory Group
The Passionate Mission Underlying the Founding of the Black Repertory Group

The Berkeley Black Repertory Group (BRG) began in 1964 as a church

drama club, later moving into storefront building as a community theater in

South Berkeley. In 1971, the group became a non-profit corporation and

received their 501 (C) (3) designation. BRG has been acclaimed for its work

with youth through performing arts and for its "New Arts" program

one-act plays by new local playwrights are produced. In 1987, BRG moved

into their current location which is a cultural arts center that contains a

large exhibition lobby, courtyard, meeting & rehearsal space, and a

beautiful 250-seat theater auditorium

with adjoining dressing rooms.

Black Repertory Group's Mission

The Black Repertory Group's commitment to the arts and the community is

the cornerstone of our background and the basis for our beginning.  Our

primary mission is to be the breeding ground for successful and talented

artists in a variety of genres with respect to the arts.  Our focus is on

providing the direction and educational structures needed to enhance their

skills; and a venue that affords new talent to be showcased and critiqued by

local critics and peers.  We are equally committed to bringing leadership

and commitment to the youth of our community.  Young people and the

youth workshops have always been at the heart of the Theater's mission. 

We offer a variety of community outreach programs designed to introduce,

educate, mentor and elevate a young person’s skills in the arts.  The BRG

speaks to local high schools and provides on-the-job training and

internships to local youth interested in Theater arts.

"If my Mom, Nora Vau
ghn, were alive today, she'd tell you that the Black Repertory

Group Theater is a Revolutionary Theater that both of my parents initially started using

theater as a means to impart knowledge about the rich history of Black Americans way

back in Vicksburg, Mississippi where Mom and Dad were also high school teachers. 

After three aborted attacks from the Ku Klux Klan, (Mom told me that one bullet just

missed my head in my baby bed) Mom finally convinced my Dad to leave so he could

scout-out and find a new home for us in California. Dad reluctantly left us behind in

Mississippi; and Mom continued to boldly use her "drama to inform and educate,"

joining Dad in California almost a year later when I was 3-years old.

"Running my late parent's Theater and Cultural Center is the most revolutionary thing

I've ever done; my family has always been involved in civil rights and revolutionary acts

from the 'Gate' because Mom & Dad taught us to be revolutionaries early on. My mother

was fierce. The power brokers at that time gave Mom so much resistance to building her

new Theater in the early 1980's that, after three dates that were not met and promises

not kept, Mom picketed City Hall (right outside the Mayor's office). We display her

picket-sign that states: HERE I SIT, TILL BLACK REP STANDS.  Needless to say,  Mom

received the "Approval" for construction to begin the very next day."

Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis nicknamed Birel and Nora Vaughn  Keepers Of The Culture.  The BRG fosters a creative environment that celebrates the artistic contributions of black artists throughout American history. With a two-fold mission, BRG provides opportunities to develop individual and young artists, and for our youth to discover a rich, black cultural heritage.

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