MPAACT consistently produces a season of outstanding world premiere productions. Through these productions, it exposes audiences to stories seldom told on America's stages. From the story of three immigrant sisters from Ethiopia, to a fifty-somethings musings on life, to the portrait of a young African American man on his first trip to Africa, MPAACT strives to be a company where artists can express and audiences can experience a myriad of realities of Black life.


The Reader 10/24/13

Warm on the Coolin Board
"The city don't want us here," observes Brian, echoing what's perhaps a common sentiment in Roseland, the neighborhood where Shepsu Aakhu's new play is partly set. A parallel story set in the after life suffers from fuzzy plotting, but ultimately offers a powerful articulation of Aakhu's key questions.

- Keith Griffith


MPAACT was created to provide opportunities for new and emerging artists to learn and practice their craft, thus the company understood early on the importance of working with young people. If we want to have vibrant theatre, music, dance and visual art in the 21st century, we must provide young people with consistent arts training; a training which encourages them learn to develop their own set of aesthetics and their own critical views. MPAACT strives to provide such training through its educational programs.

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.


MPAACT offers arts education programs including in-school, after-school, summer intensive, individual workshops, and traditional residency. These program typically fall into one of two broad categories- Arts education, and arts integration.


When MPAACT's teaching artists meet new students, many of them have not discovered their own potential to create and express. Far too often they are also unable to value these skills in others. It is for this reason that MPAACT values the explicit teaching of theatre and it's interrelated disciplines. Through multi-disciplinary arts, young people explore their unique self and learn to communicate their ideas. To that end our artists foster a classroom environment where young people can explore their potential without fear or apprehension. Over our history of providing arts training, we have seen our programs change the way young people view art, themselves and their communities. Through our programming we help young people, teachers, parents and communities understand that art is not smoke and mirrors but an opportunity to learn, share and strengthen their connections with each other.


Developed in partnership with Chicago Arts Partners In Education (CAPE) MPAACT's understanding of arts integration has grown from a binary alignment of an arts content standard with another academic standard, to a social definition of integration, in which a variety of thinkers with diverse knowledge bases (classroom teachers, arts specialists, visiting artists, community members, other students) collaborate to form a rich and varied learning environment with the students at the center. MPAACT serves the arts integration community in many capacities. In addition to our collaborations with classroom teachers, we have consistently provided professional development training for future teachers through programs at the University of Illinois’ (Chicago) department of education. Additionally we have long provided training to a host of primary and secondary schools through professional development workshops and lane credit courses.


Everyone has a voice. Everyone has a story to tell. MPAACT’s Keynotes, Lectures, Master Classes and Workshops are concerned with developing and nurturing the personal voices of all people.

Expression is not a luxury reserved for the artist, it is a necessity for everyone.

By exploring theatre, movement, storytelling, & music, participants gain tools with which to tell their own personal stories.

In addition, MPAACT offers instruction in art related fields, ranging from Arts in Education curriculum to leadership development training.

These activities can be brought to your campus, theatre or community center for $250-$3,500 depending on class duration and the number of participating MPAACT artists.


The Playwright's Laboratory is where resident playwrights, musicians and designers create and refine their work, ever striving to bring truth to the stage. Resident artists present ideas at various stages of development and employ a variety of mechanisms to stimulate their completion. These mechanisms include: table readings, improvisational workshops and public programs. In addition to providing an avenue for resident artists to explore and develop, the Playwright's Laboratory is also open to any emerging playwright whose work is under consideration by the company. This format allows us to engage talented actors, playwrights, directors, choreographers, musicians and designers, in an exchange of ideas and talents expanding the knowledge and experience of Afrikan Centered Theatre.

Submissions of work to be considered for development through our Playwright's Laboratory, and/or produced by MPAACT can be sent to:

Attn: Leonard House - Director of Literary Development
PO Box 10039
Chicago, IL 60610

MPAACT's Resident Playwrights:

Shepsu Aakhu
William S. Carroll
Nambi E. Kelley
Addae Moon
Carla Stillwell



2013 & 2014

2011 & 2012

2009 & 2010

2007 & 2008

2001 to 2006

1996 to 2000

1991 to 1995