Black Theatre Royalty: Portraits from the Hattiloo Theatre Collection

August 1 - 27

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Black Theatre Royalty, an exhibition on loan from Hattiloo Theatre in Memphis, TN, celebrates actors, writers, directors, and producers who have defined the world of Black Theatre and those charting its course to the future. Hattiloo Theatre has also commissioned a portrait of Black Theatre Holy Ground’s royal couple, founder Larry Leon Hamlin (Mr. Marvtastic) and National Black Theatre Festival’s Executive Producer Emeritus Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin (Mrs. Marvtastic). The portrait will be unveiled at the 2022 National Black Theatre Festival in collaboration with Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County.


Hattiloo Theatre was founded in 2006 by Ekundayo Bandele with a small storefront in the Edge District of Memphis, TN. Named after Bandele’s two daughters Hatshepsut (Hatti) and Oluremi (Loo) Bandele, Hattiloo relocated to a newly constructed facility, debt free, in 2014 after a $4.3M capital campaign, which established a $500K endowment. Hattiloo continued to expand its impact with the Hattiloo Technical Theatre Center, and residential space for guest artists and interns called HattiHouse by 2017. As the only freestanding Black repertory theatre in five surrounding states, Hattiloo has developed a strong regional audience and is known for offering high-quality, free programming and performances staged throughout the City of Memphis. The evolution of its artistic vision and programming, and the success of its business model has made Hattiloo a sought-after resource nationwide.




Lonnie Robinson is an artist, graphic designer, and art director. His works as an artist include portraiture, abstracts, and multimedia. 


Robinson attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  While in Chicago, his design acumen gained him a position as an art director with Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide. He continued his art and graphic design career in Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA and Jackson, MS. 


Robinson’s work has been shown in art galleries throughout the country. His art has been displayed in cultural landmarks including the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, KS, the National Civil Rights Museum, and Smith Robertson Museum in Jackson, MS.