The African American Repertory Theatre has a new artistic director. Veteran local actor D.L. Hopkins replaces Derome Scott Smith, who resigned in September for health reasons, after founding the company in 2002.
Hopkins, 43, has acted in several of the theater’s productions and directed its most recent, “Fences,” in November. Near the end of that show's run, Hopkins says that Smith told him that he was stepping down. There was some concern in the theater community about the future of the theater after Smith's resignation and the recent cancellation of its next scheduled production, “Ain't Misbehavin'.” Hopkins accepted the position one week ago.
“We're still here,” Hopkins says. “The state of our union is strong.”
After years of experience in production, Hopkins says he is learning the business side of theater, as he works with the theater's board of directors to restructure the company. “One of the things I'd like to do is really revamp and establish AART as a force to be reckoned with in this area,” he says. “Strengthen the company, make it a company that young actors of all stripes seek to do work with and become a part of.”
Hopkins says that the company's next production may be announced in September. A new web site will launch in early March.