Dr. Andrea Douglas had a vision of art being performed inside the African American Heritage Center. She had always wanted to see August Wilson’s Century Cycle produced. The trick was finding the artists to do it. After meeting with Leslie M. Scott-Jones to talk about the state of Black theater in Charlottesville, a plan was formed.
Fences opened in April of 2017 to rave reviews and sold out audiences.
Opening night, one of the founding members of the original Guild was in attendance. We asked if we could resurrect the name, carry on what she and others had started. She agreed. CPG was reborn!
Mission: Produce and create theatre from and for the Black perspective.
Vision: Nurture and grow Black artists in order to create a vibrant and sustainable Black theatre.
Leslie M. Scott-Jones was named Artistic Director later that year. She is an African-American southern woman from Virginia, encompassing all that entails. She studied theater education at VCU. Leslie has been writing, acting and directing since her teens. The world premiere of her first play Desire Moments was part of the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival. She has gone on to write several plays, novellas, and short stories. Book Ends, her first full length novel, hit the shelves Valentine’s Day Weekend 2016. Leslie has been active in Charlottesville community theater for over ten years. She most recently starred in Hambone and directed Jitney by August Wilson at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center, which the Guild calls home. Leslie played Louise in Seven Guitars by August Wilson which ran in November 2017 with UVa.’s Drama Department. She is mother to two amazing children and Mimi to two grandsons.