The Coppin Players produce plays and other theatrical programs both here on North Avenue and at The Arena Playhouse, just 15 minutes from our main campus. Jada Pinkett-Smith began her career at The Playhouse, and Charles ("Roc") Dutton has performed there. It’s the oldest, continuously operating predominately African American community theatre in the United States. Coppin Players’ advisor, Prof. Amini Johari-Courts, directs at both theatres, and Coppin Players participate in productions both on campus and at the Playhouse.
In the fall, the Players, along with students from our acting classes, produce two special events. Each October, more than 500 elementary and middle school students come to campus to see Black Masks, a cavalcade of African American heroes and “sheroes” that involves the children in a lively approach to African American history. Then, in December, the Players and Dancers perform their annual holiday season program, which is great fun for the students and the audience.
In the spring, the Players mount their major production. Memorable Coppin Players’ shows have included The Coppin Lysistrata, performed as a musical, August Wilson’s Two Trains Running, which featured performances for more than 700 students from area high schools, Ulyssa’s Luck, a new play by Brenda McGriff, a young African American playwright from New York who attended the performances, and Young, Gifted and Broke, an original script written by Coppin Player Sam Willoughby. So you see, the Players offer a LOT of possibilities.
For current information about productions, please contact Prof. Amini Courts at 410-951-3374.