Bringing the Art to the Audience (BATA) is our popular staged reading series that features works by both new and established African American and multicultural playwrights.  The readings have been performed at various partner venues in San Francisco, including our ongoing flagship partner, the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC), I.T. Bookman Community Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), The Contemporary Jewish Museum, and in the East Bay at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA) in Richmond, The Oakland School for the Arts, Eastside Arts Alliance and the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland.


(PLEASE NOTE: The BATA staged reading series has concluded for the 2016-2017 season.  

Come back to this page in September for the new 2017-2018 season schedule. )

Bringing the Art to the Audience (BATA) staged readings are FREE and open to the public.




2016-2017 BATA Staged Reading Series Archives




Play Title

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
685 Mission St (at 3rd)

San Francisco, CA 94105


Free entry for MoAD Members and LHT Subscribers


General Admission to MoAD $10, Students & Seniors $5

Non-LHT subscribers and non-MoAD members must pay regular admission fees which give access to the museum for the entire day.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM


Ceremonies in Dark Old Men

by Lonne Elder III

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

Compared to A Raisin in the Sun by many critics, this drama shows us a family who aspire to better things but who go about in it in the wrong and tragic way. The father has a barbershop but no customers, and two sons and daughter. The sons are shiftless, and try to make a fast buck with home brew. It is the daughter who works and supports them all. Other characters of the family's Harlem neighborhood complete this portrait of one urban community at a pivotal time for the politics of race, business, and real estate.


"A drama of power and importance. The best play of the season." - N.Y. Post


"Reminded me irresistibly of O'Casey. Its mood, poised between comedy and tragedy, is identical, intensity of feeling and love of language are similar, and there is a common cause in its undercurrents of rebellion. A remarkable play." - N.Y. Times


"Exciting drama, filled with meaningful insight and original comedy."-NBC TV


The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre at MoAD is a collaboration that connects theater and the visual arts, bringing both audiences together, making each art form more accessible and relevant to both constituencies and providing context across art forms. Each reading is followed by an audience discussion with the cast.



I.T. Bookman Community Center

446 Randolph Street

San Francisco, CA 94132

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM  

Zooman and the Sign

by Charles Fuller

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

Zooman and the Sign was first presented Off-Broadway by the Negro Ensemble Company under artistic director Douglas Turner Ward and Managing Director Gerald S. Krone.  It was presented at Theater Four in New York City on December 7, 1980 and directed by Douglas Turner Ward.


446 Randolph Street

San Francisco, CA 94132

Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 7:00 PM


Searching For Willie Lynch

by Layon Gray

directed by Steven Anthony Jones

On the bank of the James River in the colony of Virginia in 1712, a slave owner named Willie Lynch allegedly read a letter to teach his methods to slave owners on how to keep black people divided for 300 years. Searching For Willie Lynch is set in Louisiana centering around three families in 2008, 1965 and 1925 that have lived in the same house over the years and how a door could be a portal to the past and a celebration to the future.


Playwright Layon Gray has spent more than two decades writing, directing and developing stage plays and films that reflect a wide array of African-American cultural movements, creating new paradigms for the stage. Focusing on creating conversational dialogue in his works, Layon continues to make his mark in traditional African-American theater.  Additional information about Layon is on his website



  • "Wonderful reading. Terrific play about family, history, spirituality and realistic problems of black men."
  • "Great event. Story is rich in consciousness."
  • "Love, love, love, love, loved it!"
  • "Very talented readers.  Each were believable."
  • "Issues were portrayed in a clear manner."
  • Great! The spirituality involved and the fusion of unity was refreshing.  Reminds me to never forget the past and to always instill love. Loved it!"
  • "Great story of the spirituality of our African heritage."
  • "Fabulous! Provoked many emotions common to all humans about family, home, respect, history."

African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC)

762 Fulton Street

San Francisco, CA 94102


Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 2:00 PM



East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA)

339 11th Street

Richmond CA 94801-3105


Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 2:00 PM



Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)

685 Mission St (at 3rd)

San Francisco, CA 94105

Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 2:00 PM  

Run Home

by Jennifer Nelson

directed by Steven Anthony Jones


RUN HOME consists of three short plays linked to the theme of baseball in the lives of three teenage girls in three different eras: in 1863, the mid-1940's and early 1960's.

There is something almost metaphysical about team sports. Baseball's particular role in American culture serves as an apt metaphor for so much of what has transpired in this country dating from its "first pitch."  With relative objectivity, race, gender and class issues are represented, as are respect for competition and “may-the-best-player-win” philosophy.  Although professional ball has become mired in capitalism, the game is still beloved. Baseball represents the enduring hope that regardless of the outcome of one game, there is the possibility that the next "at-bat," the next game, the next season, will lift the team, and thereby, its fans to a level where all vicariously transcend the ordinariness of our daily lives. Is it any wonder then that sports heroes are elevated to the status of demi-gods?

African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC)

762 Fulton Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 2:00 PM  

Blooming In Dry Season

by Eljon Wardally

directed by Steven Anthony Jones


Set in a rum shop in the Spice Isle of Grenada, Rose, an oppressed housewife, has lived life for her husband, Fitz and daughter, Garland. When a once in a lifetime opportunity for her daughter presents itself, Rose realizes she's put her own dreams on hold long enough and she is forced to make a decision; should she stay or should she go?

Through Blooming In Dry Season, the playwright's aim is to demonstrate that women stuck in traditional roles in the Caribbean can break free and create their own path, no matter their age. How do gender politics affect a nuclear family in the Caribbean especially when a suppressed member of the family decides enough is enough? In the case of Blooming In Dry Season, that person is Rose, a mother and devoted wife who on the surface, represents the traditional role of a woman.  When she sees her daughter going down the same path, she decides to make a change.