WHO WE ARE
Black Theatre Coalition was founded by T. Oliver Reid and Warren Adams during the Summer of 2019. They identified the disparity between the growing inclusivity onstage, versus the almost non-existence of Black professionals off stage. They invited their colleague, Reggie Van Lee, to join them as Co-Founder in their march towards dismantling the systemically racist and biased ideology in the theatrical job space. Black Theatre Coalition officially filed as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in June of 2020.
T. OLIVER REID (Co-Founder & Artistic Director) has spent the past 20 years working on Broadway shows, (Hadestown; Once On This Island; Sunset Boulevard; After Midnight; Sister Act; Mary Poppins; The Wedding Singer; Chicago; La Cage Aux Folles; Never Gonna Dance; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Follies; Kiss Me, Kate), which have amassed more than 20 Tony Awards from the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards. He is also an accomplished cabaret artist and multiple award winner for his solo show, “Drop Me Off In Harlem” which he directed, wrote, and starred in. He has produced and directed concerts for Feinstein’s 54 Below and continues to work in film and television. He is on faculty at Rider University, NYU-Tisch’s Grad Acting Program, and Columbia University School of the Arts’ Grad Acting program. He sits on the Board of Visitors for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He’s currently in the critically acclaimed, Hadestown on Broadway.
WARREN ADAMS (Co-Founder & Artistic Director) is a South African-born artist living in New York City. He was recently commissioned to write the book for the PETER TOSH musical. He is the Writer/Director of the upcoming new musical Trial and the Choreographer of the Bebe Winans Broadway-bound musical Born for This. In 2019, he was appointed to the Tony Nominating Committee. Other notable awards include the Tony Award for Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Co-Producer). He won the NAACP and the Fred Astaire Awards for his choreographic work on Motown. He was selected as the first Mandela Sainsbury Scholar (South Africa to London) and the first Rudolf Nureyev Award winner in Europe. Past Projects include: Motown the Musical (Broadway, US Tours, West End). Adams has served as an Adjunct Professor at both Princeton University and NYU in the drama departments. He co-founded VisaPaq with Sharona D’Ornellas, a portfolio company that has successfully obtained over 300 working visas for international immigrant artists wanting to work in the USA. He is currently writing a new show for HBO Max and Directing a new upcoming Musical.
OLIVIA K JONES (Executive Director) has dedicated her career to amplifying diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the arts and culture sector. She was a recipient of the inaugural APAP|NYC 2020 Duke Access Award after being identified as a field leader representing expertise in racial equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the performing arts field. She has held roles at Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Arena Stage. Olivia is also proud to have been a steering committee member of the Museum Arts and Cultural Access Consortium, advancing accessibility throughout New York’s cultural sector. She currently serves on Trusty Sidekick Theatre Company’s Board of Directors, supporting the creation of bold and original productions for young people and their families. Her educational background includes an MFA in Arts Leadership from Virginia Tech and a BA in Theatre from Cal Poly Pomona.
Recent workshops, projects, and speaking engagements include collaborations with American Theatre Wing, ART/NY, BRIC, BroadwayCon, Center Theatre Group, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center’s Interconstituent Access Council (including New York City Ballet, Juilliard, Chamber Music Society, New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Theater, and Jazz at Lincoln Center,) the Museum of the City of New York, National Endowment for the Arts, NY Transit Museum, Roundabout Theatre Company, Trusty Sidekick, & Utah Shakespeare Theatre Festival.
AALIYTHA STEVENS (Board Member) Chief Operating Officer at SpotCo, the world’s leading full-service advertising, marketing and branding agency. She joined the company in 2002 as a member of the account services team and got her start managing brand and media strategy for Manhattan Theatre Club, Cirque du Soleil, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, to name a few. Today, she is the highest-ranking person of color in the theatrical advertising industry. She is passionate about philanthropic giving, fair workplace practices, and equity and diversity in the industry: improving its statistics from the root up. In addition to spearheading Equity, Diversity & Inclusion initiatives for SpotCo and its clients, Aaliytha proudly co-chairs the Multicultural Taskforce at The Broadway League, and sits on their Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
NAILA MCKENZIE is Director, Inclusion Strategy, Business Affairs & Legal Counsel, serving as in-house counsel for the Disney Theatrical Group’s Broadway, domestic and international live stage play business while also supporting diversity, equity and inclusion efforts throughout the business. Naila is also an active member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of The Broadway League and founded Disney Theatrical Group’s first employee resource group, Ensemble, in 2018.
NIK WHITCOMB is a theatre artist, casting director, producer, educator, and equity & inclusion advocate that has spent the majority of his life in the entertainment industry. Nik has worked in various capacities with nonprofit arts institutions across the country such as Guthrie Theater, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Omaha Performing Arts among others. He is a member of the American Alliance for Theatre & Education where he serves as a mentor for the Leaders of Color Institute and a reader on the Distinguished Play Committee. Nik developed, mentored, and produced the Puppeteers of Color Incubator in Chicago (alongside collaborator Jamillah Hinson), managed education programs at both the Omaha Community Playhouse & The Rose Theater, and consults with creative organizations around the nation on strategic planning and implementation of sustainable business models. He is an Ensemble Member with the Performing Arts Collective at The Union for Contemporary Art, the Education Coordinator with The Stillwell Institute for Contemporary Black Art, the Communications Strategist for The House of Afros, Capes, & Curls, an Associate Member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, and was named a “Theatre Worker You Should Know” by American Theatre Magazine in April of 2020.