Orlando Repertory Theatre is partnering with newly-founded Black theatre company, MAC Boys Entertainment, to act as business incubator and fiduciary partner in their establishment and growth. MAC Boys first production will be The Colored Museum runs June 17 – 26, 2022, and is on sale now at www.orlandorep.com.
MAC Boys Entertainment was created with the purpose of filling the void of Black representation within the theatre world, focusing first and foremost on the Central Florida community. Founders Maurice Mallard, Arius West, and Christopher Payen (the M-A-C in MAC Boys) are co-artistic directors of the startup company, with the collective goal to bring the work and stories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to the theatrical forefront. “It was created with the idea that theatre can be, and do anything. That the color of a person’s skin does not determine their talent or their range,” says MBE.
The vision of MBE goes beyond what is onstage, as Arius West states. “We want to increase the representation of black people in theatre seats, black people on stage, and black people getting paid!” Maurice Mallard adds “We want to use every color on our pallet to paint the blank canvas that is the stage.”
With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, an important shift is occurring in the national and local arts communities. Orlando REP is honored to support the business development, facilitation, and operations of MBE’s inaugural season. Orlando REP Artistic Director Jeff Revels says, “The inflection points of racial injustice put race into sharp relief across all aspects of our communities. In the theatre-specific community, we are analyzing every component of our business and holding up all our policies and processes to the mirror to see where we can grow equitably. We work on equity, diversity, and inclusion in a myriad of ways behind the scenes and on stage and in our community. We also determined that we have a strong platform and that our institutional knowledge is a resource that would be hard to assign a dollar amount to and so, we thought that we can share that knowledge and our physical resources to help a Black owned and operated theatre company get on its feet much more quickly. We can relieve the burden of venue and equipment costs, while the MAC Boys focus on establishing their artistic vision and hopefully, they can take some learnings that we benefit from decades of experience and apply them to grow a thriving business much quicker.”
MAC Boys points out that “too often we find ourselves as props, a part of the background used as accessories to fill in the plot of a European antagonist.” MBE is poised to change this narrative with their mission “to bring more BIPOC art first to Central Florida, then to the world.” As Christopher Payen exclaims, he is “thrilled to be bringing more black stories on stage. Stories by us, for us!”
MAC Boys Entertainment’s first production of The Colored Museum written by George C. Wolfe takes place in a fictional museum showcasing different “exhibits” presented not as art pieces, but as performed sketches. Each exhibit exemplifies a different aspect of the Black experience with moments of music and song throughout. Topics include Black identity, the celebrity experience, family, slavery, trauma, and community conflict.
To purchase tickets to The Colored Museum, running June 17 – 26, visit www.orlandorep.com or call 407.896.7365. Tickets start at $20 and performances take place at Orlando Repertory Theatre. More productions from MAC Boys Entertainment will be announced at a later date.