African American Theatre Ensemble

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About AATE

Founded in 1971, the African American Theatre Ensemble (AATE) is committed to producing and performing African American dramatic works. Our membership is consistently a colorful mix of artistic, technical and business-oriented students. We offer experience not only in theatre, but also in marketing, accounting, technical design, fundraising, and event management. All year-round, we present a wide range of performances from plays and musicals to poetry readings, improv shows, and ceremonies. If you are interested in getting involved, you can meet AATE representatives at our first event of the year, The Ritual, which will be held September 23rd, 2009 in the Louis Room at 7:30pm.


Mission Statement

The African-American Theater Ensemble (AATE) is a functional affiliate of For Members Only (FMO), Northwestern University’s Black student union. AATE operates on the Evanston Campus in order to produce theatrical works pertinent to the needs of the African American community.

AATE serves to expose the Northwestern community to the fullest spectrum of theatrical work and interpretation by producing and/or sponsoring African American plays, poetry reading, variety shows, ceremonies and rituals.

AATE seeks to provide a forum where both experienced and amateur performers can participate in productions highlighting the African American experience.

The 2010-2011 Season


The Ritual

The Ritual is an annual production of skits, songs, dance, and poetry. It represents an official welcoming of new and first-year students to the Northwestern black community, and traditionally the show is also a time for the seniors to say their first farewells to the community. It provides a great opportunity to meet returning students, make friends, and announce your presence on campus. We invite you to join us!

Cafe Noir I

Dim the lights! Grab some delectable pastries and hot cocoa! Sit back and relax...

This Fall Cafe Noir will feature poetry, solo singers, dancers general merriment, and maybe even YOU!! An open mic section will follow the scheduled portion of the event. Performances will be interspersed with the sounds of old-school Hip-Hop, Soul, R&B, Funk, House, and the current hits! Cafe Noir I is on October 15th and will be held in the Dittmar Art Gallery. Cafe Noir II and III are produced in Winter and Spring.

Winter Main Stage

A drumroll please....introducing "Six Feet Under" by Camille Edwards:

Twenty – six year old Cole is a dreamer and a child at heart, but when her optimistic nature begins to be haunted by nightmares of the deaths of her closest friends, everybody’s insecurities rise to the surface. Her cousin Demi, and mutual friend Max cannot keep her nightmares away, and the ill dreams begin to tear the friends apart. Skeletons come out of the closet when a sudden death occurs, driving Cole over the edge. Friends Addison, Sumner, and Price only live down the hall from the girls in an apartment of their own and are tangled into the girls’ web of love, lies, fear, and ultimate sacrifice. “Six Feet Under” explores the ties of kinship between people of color while highlighting the moments that bring them together, and underscoring the strands that rip them apart.

Jan. 20-22 at 8 and 11 pm.

Out Da' Box

Out Da' Box (ODB) is presented annually in winter quarter. ODB is a sketch comedy show in which all the skits are written and performed by the cast. Many issues, both trivial and controversial, are made into parodies that the audience can sit back and enjoy. Auditions for ODB are usually held during the middle of Fall quarter.

Tribute to Black Men and Tribute to Black Women

The tributes are separate variety shows that are produced every spring quarter to pay "tribute" to black men and women. Tribute to Black Men is an all-female production and Tribute to Black Women is an all-male production. This event is also another way for the senior men and women to say their last farewells to their classmates.



Past Seasons

2011-2012 Mainstage

2010-2011 Mainstage

2009-2010 Mainstage

2008-2009 Mainstage

  • Remedy, by Yasmine S. Williams

2007-2008 Mainstage

2006-2007 Mainstage



Current Members

2011-2012 Executive Board

  • Leila Pree, President
  • Jessica Holloway, Treasurer
  • Brian Knall, Marketing and Promotions Director
  • Shauntelle Brown, Artistic Director
  • Sonja Marrett, Historian
  • Amanda Summey, Secretary

2010-2011 Executive Board

  • Camille Edwards, President
  • Ericka Brown, Treasurer
  • Leila Pree, Executive Producer
  • Brendan Yukins, Director of Development and Fundraising
  • Leslie Clark, Marketing and Promotions Director
  • Shauntelle Brown, Historian
  • Bailey Lane, Secretary

2011-2012 Directors

  • Evan Rusan-Dickerson, Out Da' Box
  • Brendan Yukins, Mainstage, "For Colored Girls...."

2010-2011 Directors

  • Kristen Elyse, Out Da' Box



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