Tucked away in the Fairfax neighborhood just east of Downtown Cleveland is one of Cleveland’s historic cultural institutions, Karamu House and Theater. It’s known as the oldest Black theater company in the U.S. and has been an incubator for some of the country's most well-known Black artists since its opening in 1917. Perhaps most notably, playwright and poet Langston Hughes saw a number of his plays debut here.
What You’ll see:
- Every year Karamu puts together an eclectic theater season showcasing six different productions that range from new works, American premiers and Tony Award-winning Broadway shows, all of which adhere to the theater’s mission of honoring the African-American experience.
- In addition to theatrical performances, Karamu has become known as a venue for all types of performance art. Each month it hosts the Karamu Comedy Show, featuring all local comics and performers. Dance, poetry and musical performances are also showcased throughout the year.
What Else to Do?
- Karamu also maintains a busy calendar for special community programming, including their “In the Tradition” series, which offers free arts performances around special seasonal events, including Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History Month.