About

“…the next wave of aesthetics in words looks like […] Progress Theatre…”
          ~San Francisco Chronicle

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PROGRESS THEATRE (PT) is a Houston-based, nationally and internationally-touring ensemble of multi-disciplined artists committed to using theatre as anti-racism engagement to encourage social consciousness, cross-community dialogue and cultural awareness. We believe in the power of art and community collaboration to advance efforts toward social equality and inclusiveness. PT considers all of our initiatives as community-engaged, community-invested and community-necessitated. We are, at once, performers/creators of ensemble-driven theatre works, presenters and supporters of artists who share our mission and creative collaborators with the communities we serve.

Since 2000, PT has inspired audiences coast-to-coast with dynamic, original performances that founder Cristal Chanelle Truscott has branded Neo-Spirituals, a’capella musicals that are consciously, methodologically and specifically created through Cristal’s “Soulwork: Emotional Availability,” a unique acting/performance methodology developed from African American performance traditions and aesthetics. Neo-Spirituals are descendants of Negro Spirituals, Black Folklore and Slave Narratives; and simultaneously, products of contemporary Black performance aesthetics (hip-hop, spoken word, R&B, the blues, etc). PT‘s growing tour repertoire includes original full-length plays PEACHES, ‘MEMBUH  (as in “Remember”) and a myriad of shorter works. PT’s newest piece, Burnin’, is currently on tourPT’s  unique brand of performance blends traditional African American performance aesthetics with contemporary artistic genre, academia with popular culture, and politics with social realities, all contributing to the groups’ appeal to both old and new generations of theatergoers.

We build audiences by building relationships with communities. We are trained and experienced in diversity dialogues, group facilitation and in creating theatre with and for communities. By engaging various communities onstage and off, PT strives to change the make-up of average theatergoers, encouraging audiences diverse in race, age/generation and spiritual background. The dream and intention of PT’s work is to explore the most compelling, honest, unflinching ways of approaching questions of humanity, and the social concerns and insights of our times inclusive of race, class, gender and spiritual identity— in the service of unity through diversity, cross-community healing and understanding.

View a sampling of theatre, venues, festivals and cities from PT’s history of touring, here.