Washington People: Ron Himes

On theater, community and founding The Black Rep


“All of a sudden you’ve got color in the audience.”
— Ron Himes

In 1976, as a business major at Washington University in St. Louis, Ron Himes began staging theatrical performances. Thirty-eight seasons later, Himes remains founder and producing director for The Black Rep, one of the nation’s largest and most respected African-American theater companies.

This month, The Black Rep will conclude its 2014-15 line-up in Edison Theatre with “Once on this Island,” a musical “Romeo and Juliet” story set in the Caribbean. In this video, Himes, the Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences, discusses founding The Black Rep, reaching diverse audiences and how we all laugh together in the dark.

‘Once on this Island’

Performances of “Once on this Island” take place April 22-May 3. Tickets are $25-40 and can be purchased online; at the Black Rep’s box office, 6662 Olive Blvd., and by calling 314-534-3810.

Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Center, 6465 Forsyth Blvd. For more information, visit theblackrep.org.