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 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). He co-founded the production company WalkRunFly with Brandon Victor Dixon and they co-produced Hedwig… and Of Mice and Men on Broadway. They are currently adapting Terry McMillan’s New York Times Bestseller “Waiting to Exhale” for the stage. 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.
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.
LICO WHITFIELD brings over a decade of experience navigating the world of professional commercial and non-profit theater to his role with Black Theatre Coalition. An alumnus of the William Morris mailroom, he traded in his trainee status for the world of regional theater and joined Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta where he took ownership of line-producing the 1st and 2nd National August Wilson Monologue Competition in conjunction with Jujamcyn Theaters. After Atlanta, to further formalize the foundation of a producing career he pursued and obtained an MFA in Theater Management from the Yale School of Drama before returning to New York where he joined The Amoralists as Producing Director and founded ‘Wright Club, a playwright development program dedicated to providing a space for writers to bravely approach their craft. During this time Lico produced over 20 staged readings and 10 full-length plays in the off-off and independent theater community in NY. Most recently Lico worked in the Production department at The Public theater where he provided support to general management, producing, internal counsel, and human resources in support of negotiating and drafting designer and composer agreements. During the pandemic, Lico became a vital role in cultural transformation efforts at The Public helping to found an anti-racist committee within the production department and served on a committee that helped draft the organization’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Transformation statement. Lico hopes that his role with BTC will support the disruption of homogeneity in our industry and broaden the scope of creators and appreciators of theater.