Reviews and Views: ACT Theatre Presents “History of Theatre: About, By, For, and Near”

ACT Theatre

History of Theatre: About, By, For, and Near is now playing at ACT Theatre through February 12. The world premiere by playwright Reginald André Jackson is an inventive new play that travels through Seattle’s theatre scene from 1820 to the mid-1930s, exploring Black artists of American history who are often forgotten.

With the host of the show, Sister Blacknall, audiences will meet The Rabbit’s Foot founder Pat Chapelle, creator of the first all-Black touring vaudeville troupe. Actors Ira Aldridge and Rose McClendon will make appearances, as well as members of Seattle’s Negro Repertory Company.


“From the first Black theater in the country (in New York) to the Seattle-based Negro Repertory Company, federally funded in the New Deal era of the 1930s, the play adds fresh context to the present state of theater.” — Misha Berson, Crosscut

“Unheard voices are released, forgotten stars are remembered, and a rich legacy is revealed.” — Kelly Rogers Flynt, Broadway World

“When I say that…History of Theatre: About, By, For, and Near…is a ‘must see’ theatre event, it may actually be an understatement.” — Greg Heilman, Heilman and Haver

A multi color background on stage with greens and purples show above a Black female actor.
ACT Theatre
On stage a Black man dressed in a tie and suspenders speaks as he holds his hat.
ACT Theatre

Tickets are now available for purchase online. Please be aware that History of Theatre: About, By, Near and For contains themes, language, and imagery that may affect viewers. For full details, click here.