The St. Louis Black Repertory Company opens its 45thAnniversary Season September 10 with an in-person production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Sweat” by Lynn Nottage. Addressing the complexities of race, class and friendship at a pivotal moment in America,
the powerful work will be presented in person at the Edison Theatre at Washington University and directed by Founder and Producing Director Ron Himes. Previews begin on Wednesday, September 8.

A courageous and heartbreaking story explores the lives of a tight-knit group of factory workers who spend their days drinking, sharing secrets, and laughing. When layoffs and strikes create tension within the group the trust is broken. “Playwright Nottage tensely captures the root of our current political and racial tension in society today,” said Himes. “Are we only looking out for ourselves or are we
responsible for each other?”

The cast features Velma Austin (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Screened in Porch), A.C. Smith (King Hedley II, The Trials of Brother Jero), Amy Loui (Canfield Drive, Three Ways Home), Don McClendon (Blues for Mr. Charlie), and Brian McKinley (Home, Spell #7). Franklin Killian, Blake Anthony Edwards, Gregory Almanza, and Kelly Howe will all be making their debut at The Black Rep

The production will feature Scenic Design by Tim Jones, Lighting Design by Jonathan Alexander, Costume Design by Hali Liles, Sound Design by Kareem Deanes, and Properties Designed by Meg Brinkley.

Fight Choreography will be done by Paul Steger who is certified by the Society of American Fight Directors and holds advanced certificates from the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat & Fight Directors. Jim Anthony is the Stage Manager and Technical Fellow Tatiana Durant is the Assistant Stage Manager.

Season subscriptions and single tickets for “Sweat” are available at or by calling the Box Office at 314-534-3807. Groups of 12 or more may also reserve tickets by phone. Seating will be at 50 percent capacity; for complete information on current health protocols please visit

The Black Rep’s 45th Anniversary Season sponsors include the Arts and Education Council, The Black Seed Initiative, Centene Charitable Trust, Missouri Arts Council, Regional Arts Commission, Rodgers-Townsend, The Shubert Foundation, the Steward Family Foundation, and Washington University in St. Louis

The St. Louis Black Repertory Company announces additions to its Board of Directors. Joining the Board is Feleccia Moore-Davis, Wanda Starr-Ferguson, and Paul Steger. “The new members further diversify the board towards the goal of bringing the magic of live theatre to everyone by entertaining diverse audiences, educating promising youth, and enriching our community,” says Ron Himes, Founder and Producing Director.

Feleccia Moore-Davis is Campus President at St. Louis Community College: Meramec. Feleccia is a first generation college graduate that recognizes the importance of education. She has more than 20 years of higher education experience teaching and in cross-functional administrative roles within Community Colleges. Prior to coming to STLCC Feleccia served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Tallahassee Community College in Florida and Vice President for Instruction at Lone Star College-CyFair. Feleccia brings leadership, grant writing, fundraising, and program management to the board and plans to expand partnerships support and further expose students to the arts.

Wanda Starr-Ferguson is the Inclusion & Diversity Specialist for Edward Jones. Throughout her 20-year tenure at Edward Jones, Wanda served in multiple capacities the Compliance and Operations division including Asset Surveillance Officer, leading to a promotion to Field Supervision Director. Wanda has a passion for developing relationships with the community and giving back.  In 2017, Wanda was awarded “Volunteer of the Year”, by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis. Wanda brings leadership, program management skills, and a strong passion for inclusion and diversity to the board. She looks to increase awareness of the Black Rep offerings to the St. Louis Community.

Paul Steger, Dean of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts at Webster University. Paul is a director, producer, actor, and action designer with credits on Broadway and in numerous regional theatres. He is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors and holds certificates from the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat, the Nordic Stagefight Society, and Fight Directors Canada. Paul is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild, and the National Theatre Conference among others. He plans to serve as a liaison to higher education institutions across St. Louis and nationwide.    

About the Black Repertory Company

The St. Louis Black Repertory Company was founded in 1976 by Producing Director Ron Himes. The Black Rep is one of the largest, professional African-American theatre companies in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri. Quality professional dramas, comedies and musicals by primarily African-American and third world playwrights are produced. Mainstage productions and education programs combine to reach more than 80,000 people annually.