The Paul Robeson Theatre of the African American Cultural Center at 350 Masten Ave. in Buffalo has a new Artistic Director, Yao Kahlil Newkirk, with a vision to continue offering traditional stage plays by noted black playwrights such as Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson or Dominique Morisseau, while adding a new element of installations.
With a BFA and MFA in Theater Performance, Buffalo native Newkirk is currently working on his Ph.D. at UB in Transnational Studies. His work focuses on Original Stories and trans-racial/intraracial identities.
He was mentored by Iris Stevenson, and spent considerable time based in Los Angeles as what he calls "one of the 'Sister Act' kids" on tour.
For a sample of his installation concepts, watch his video of I WISH A N***^ WOULD
Inspired by the series Game of Thrones. Newkirk uses the Royalty Free Music titled "Battle Fury" to good effect. (Tip: Be sure to watch all the way to the end title card.)
Newkirk comes from a Buffalo family rich in performance history and his brother is the current Simba on Broadway (when it reopens) in THE LION KING.