Theatre for Transformation

Theatre For Transformation:
ABOUT TFT: Overview » Artists » Plays and Workshops » Press

Who We Are
Theatre For Transformation is primarily a volunteer organization, led by our artistic director, Ismail Smith-Wade-El. We also have two to three production and arts management interns per year.

Our Board 
Meredith Calien
Maria Clarke
Katherine Filer – Chair
Sandra Franklin
Shauna Murry – Treasurer
Dr. Rita Smith Wade–El
Holly Williams – Secretary

Our Mission
To perform African American stories that inspire learning and racial harmony amongst diverse audiences.

Our Vision
A community that embraces our humanity and celebrates diversity.

What We Do
Theatre for Transformation is a non-profit theatre organization that heals the world through plays, workshops and showcases that re–shape how we understand our history and our local communities. Our aim is to create and tour plays about African American history for diverse audiences. A touring company, TFT has traveled to over 100 schools, colleges, faith communities, and community centers to present plays about African American history since our founding in 2007.

TFT History (Brief)
TFT was founded by Dr. Amanda Kemp, an Africana Studies professor and playwright in 2007. Primarily a touring company, TFT has performed meticulously researched historical productions about the enslaved people in Benjamin Franklin’s households, Phillis Wheatley, the first African American to publish a book, and other topics.

In 2010 the organization incorporated and received its tax-exempt status in 2011. Since it’s beginnings, TFT has touched over 10,000 people, mostly young audiences in schools and community settings.


Currently, TFT produces one original play suitable for audiences eight and older on the main stage at the Ware Center in Lancaster, PA every spring. This production is filmed, broadcast via the internet and public television stations, and available as a DVD.


In addition to our main stage spring production, we tour our plays in January–March of each year to colleges, schools, and community venues. Our school performances include a live performance followed by a one-day residency with Dr. Kemp and a study guide that includes pre and post performance activities. TFT has toured plays to close to 100 venues since our founding.


Finally, TFT produces a quarterly performance showcase for youth and young adult performers in Lancaster, PA. Entitled "The Sweeter the Berry," this showcase featured over 70 youth and young adult performers in 2012. It is coordinated by a volunteer group of youth, young adults and their supporters.




TFT's plays have been awarded by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and other organizations. The company has performed its original works at Stanford University, Haverford College, Franklin & Marshall College, Neumann University, Northeastern Illinois University, and several others.


Theatre for Transformation © 2014