MPAACT exists to develop, nurture, and sustain Afrikan Centered Theatre [ACT], an artistic expression grounded in the many cultures and traditions of the Afrikan continent and its Diaspora. With a vision focused on creating new work and collaborative art, MPAACT produces and educates with the goal of increasing understanding and appreciation of [ACT] and its interrelated disciplines.
MPAACT has grown from a collective of like-minded individuals who shared an artistic vision, to an organization that has produced a formidable body of work. This work includes: main stage productions, a playwright's laboratory, standing productions, original music, a publishing company [Sakhu Publications], an arts education program, and many workshops and master classes.
It is important to us as a company that we, in everything we do, pull from the disparate cultural elements which unite artists in the Afrikan Diaspora. Drawing from the well that nourished artists such as Wole Soyinka, Charles Mingus, Adrienne Kennedy, Amiri Baraka and Bob Marley among others, we create and perform work, which examines and celebrates the many facets of Afrikan theatre.
MPAACT was formed in 1990 when a group of students at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign banded together with the idea of sharing their knowledge of Afrikan and Afrikan-American culture with others. Not content with creating reading circles and forming study groups, these students decided they could spread this knowledge to far more people through the performing arts.