Common Ground Theatre

Common Ground Theatre

About Common Ground Theatre

Artistic Director: Yolanda Franklin

Common Ground Theatre has made a broad and important impact in San Diego County. It is the only theatre in the San Diego area whose primary goal is to regularly and consistently offer high quality classic and new works by and about Black people. It provides theatrical productions at a low price in an area that has a dearth of arts and cultural opportunities for its residents. It develops budding Black artistic talent which supplies a core group of performers not only for Common Ground Theatre productions, but for many other theatres in the San Diego area. Most of the African American actors who have performed at other theatres in the San Diego region were first trained and developed by Common Ground Theatre. Common Ground provides employment for Black actors and other actors in the San Diego area. During the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic and the violent and deadly attacks against Blacks revealing the continued racial injustice, Common Ground Theatre’s board members and Executive Artistic Director Yolanda Franklin have participated and provided leadership. In the past few years they have played a central role in discussions regarding the role of San Diego’s theatre community in combatting social, cultural, racial, and artistic injustice.

Read more about Common Ground Theatre here.

Upcoming Events

UPLIFTING BLACK VOICES, 7 Part Staged Reading Series

This well received Staged Reading Series was launched by Common Ground to give Local & National African American Playwrites a space to respond during the pandemic. Common Ground will now produce it “live” as a short play festival during its residency at La Jolla Playhouse the Summer of 2024.

Past Events

Nativity: A Soulful Celebration

Nativity: A Soulful Celebration

Nativity: A Soulful Celebration
Presented by Common Ground Theatre

Dec 1-3 and Dec 8-10, 2023
Educational Cultural Complex
4343 Ocean View Blvd, San Diego, CA 92113

Inspired by Langston Hughes
Directed by Yolanda M. Franklin
Musical Direction by Stephen Gooden
Vocal Direction by Pamela Charles

Common Ground Theatre presents Nativity: A Soulful Celebration, loosely based on the Langston Hughes gospel Christmas classic, Black Nativity.

The Colored Museum

The Colored Museum presented by Common Ground Theatre

The Colored Museum
Presented by Common Ground Theatre

Aug 18 – 27, 2023
Shank Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse

Written by George C. Wolfe
Directed by Yolanda Marie Franklin

The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe is a satire set in a fictional museum where a collection of 11 “exhibits” have been mounted for public viewing. First performed in 1985, this award-winning play remains relevant as it deconstructs several Black stereotypes. The themes explored in the sketches include slavery, stereotypes, Black identity, generational trauma, and intercommunal conflict.

The Colored Museum is presented by Common Ground Theatre, San Diego’s oldest Black Theatre. In 2022/2023 Common Ground was named Theatre-in-Residence at La Jolla Playhouse. The Theatre-in-Residence program aims to encourage the artistic development of local performing arts organizations, while contributing to the San Diego theatre scene.

“Mr. Wolfe is the kind of satirist, almost unheard of in today’s timid theater, who takes no prisoners”
The New York Times

Sense of Love

Common Ground Theatre presents SENSE OF LOVE

October 14–16, 2022
Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse

Patricia (Pat) Colby is newly divorced and determined to succeed without a man. Steve Thurman, a recently widowed college professor, is content with being a single dad and living a solitary life. Haunted and numbed by their painful past, both Steve and Pat could ruin their second chance at love. Entertaining, thought provoking, and poignant, Sense of Love delivers a timeless contemporary love story not to be missed.

Still We Rise

Common Ground Theatre presents STILL WE RISE

July 9, 2022
Shank Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse

Common Ground Theatre kicked off their residency with Still We Rise, a celebration concert of music and poetry. This poetry and jazz-infused concert features work by such historic Black poets as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Amanda Gorman, along with music by Rob Thorsen Jazz Trio.

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