Charlayne Woodard

Directed by Lyeneal Griffin 


On almost bare stage the lyrical, lifting words of Charlayne Woodard begin weaving stories of two young sisters through three generations of African American family love, struggle and triumph in their small world of Albany, New York and the hilltop black town of Rosignol Hill, Georgia where they experience the ironic “pretty fire” of the title. PRETTY FIRE is an enthralling, authentic and mesmerizing celebration of life. Filled with earthy humor, it takes the audience on a universal journey through a world in which the family bond is as strong as steel.

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Directed by Sharia Benn 

Produced by Open Stage of Harrisburg in partnership

with Sankofa African American Theatre Company. 

For Colored Girls Who Wave Considered Suicide / When The Rainbow is Enuf is Ntozake Shange's first work and most acclaimed theater piece, which premiered in 1976. It consists of a series of poetic monologues to be accompanied by dance movements and music, a form Shange coined as the choreopoem.



Co-Directed by Sharia Benn and Stuart Landon

Produced by Open Stage of Harrisburg

in partnership with Sankofa African American Theatre Company production.

Based on the smart, feel-good movie, Akeelah and the Bee tells the story of an independent 11-year-old from South Side, Chicago whose razor-sharp mind keeps her one step ahead of the game in the neighborhood... but is it enough to get her to the top? Akeelah must turn to family, friends, and a few unlikely mentors if she's going to survive the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

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Directed by Sharia Benn


Sankofa African American Theatre Company and Gamut Theatre join together to present Voices of F.E.W. A theatrical one-woman show that chronicles the life of Frances Ellen Watkins-Harper, a pioneering social activist and abolitionist.

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Bridge (the gap), scripted by Sharia Benn with poetry by Maria James-Thiaw, is a new work born out of the collective creation and collaborative partnerships between Sankofa African American Theatre Company, Reclaim Artist Collective and The Capital BlueCross Theatre.  

Love. Hate. History. Framed together...Bridge (the gap) A spoken word, music-infused new theatrical work exploring the divide between people and perceptions that leave lives hanging in the balance.

Voices of the Eighth - Rhythms of Resili


Voices of the Eighth features real-life stories from Harrisburg’s Old Eighth Ward, one of the most diverse communities located in Pennsylvania from the late 1700’s through its demolition in 1925 to make way for the new PA Capitol Complex.  The play utilizes research as developed by historians at Messiah College and will feature music, projected photos from the time, and original poetry written by students from Harrisburg High School – Sci Tech Campus.  The presentation also celebrates the Commonwealth Monument, a historical landmark commemorating the Old Eighth Ward and slated for completion in 2020.

Scripted and Directed by Sharia Benn​

Photo/Video Credits

Haley Harned  |  John Bivens  |  Shawn Oliveria  |  Johntrae Williams  |  File Image sources SankofaAATC  |  Gamut Theatre  |  Open Stage