Horace J. Bond Ambassador Program - Macalester College, the University of Minnesota and Hamline University faculty select exceptional undergraduates who work with Penumbra to address social issues on campus.
Fellowships - Providing support for students from high school through graduate school to explore musical and dramatic theatre, literary criticism, and dramaturgy.
Internships - Behind the scenes and close to the action, our internship programs give students the opportunity to work and learn at the same time.Quilting Circle - A community experience you can look forward to annually. Learn new skills and make an original art piece that is featured in our holiday musical favorite, Black Nativity.
Salon Series - Guest lectures, roundtable discussions, symposia and post-play discussions offer patrons the opportunity to think critically about our art and continue the dialogue.
Student Matinees - Offering students ages 14 and up the opportunity to explore the African American experience through artistically excellent productions. Bring your students to see a show and stay afterwards for a post-play discussion.
Study Guides - Free and online, Penumbra’s study guides include contextual essays, artist interviews, and much more. Each guide includes curriculum for grades 9-12 by high school educators to enhance learning in your classroom!
Summer Institute - Training the next generation of activist artists! Students study the craft of performance while learning about social justice to promote change in their own communities.
The Wilson Lab - This archival project will preserve the legacy of the preeminent African American theatre company in the nation. The Lab will make personal interviews from founding company members, videography, literature and more available for research.
Workshops - Exploring the power of art to change lives and communities. Join us at the Science Museum of Minnesota or book your own RACE workshop today!
The Penumbra Theatre Company Quilt - See the quilt squares that now illuminate the walls of our theatre.
Meet the Education and Outreach Team!
SARAH BELLAMY - Associate Artistic Director - Education
has been leading the education and outreach initiatives for Penumbra Theatre
since 2005. In that time, she has designed several programs that engage patrons
in critical thinking, dialogue, and action around issues of race and social
justice. Select programs include Penumbra's Race Workshop curated to accompany
the Science Museum of Minnesota’s exhibit RACE: Are We So Different?, and the
Summer Institute, a leadership development program for teens to practice art for
social change. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Sarah holds an M.A. in the
Humanities from The University of Chicago.
CLARIBEL GROSS – Community Outreach Coordinator
is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she studied Theatre Arts with
an emphasis on performance. She has a strong interest in international
development and working with communities through theatre, and has lived and
worked in Ecuador where she used theatre as a tool to teach English as a Second
Language. Claribel is happy to be back in the Twin Cities working with Penumbra
where she puts her passion for arts education and development to use. Her
primary role is connecting Penumbra’s student leaders with local advocacy and
health and wellness organizations throughout the Twin Cities for internships and
H. ADAM HARRIS – Teen Programs Coordinator
is the Teen Programs Coordinator with Penumbra Theatre Company and a former
Summer Institute Intern. As a professional actor, he was recently seen in How
the Grinch Stole Christmas (Children’s Theatre Company); The Way of Water (Frank
Theatre); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Much Ado About Nothing, (Guthrie Theater); and
Penumbra Theatre’s production of The Amen Corner at the Guthrie Theater. Adam
received his B.F.A from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor
Training Program along with a minor in African American Studies. Adam recently
toured prisons, homeless shelters, and community centers in a production of The
Seven with Ten Thousand Things Theater. His primary role is connecting
passionate young leaders with Penumbra’s Summer Institute program and working
with educators to bring theatre for social change into their classrooms.
LAUREN MILLER – Research Associate
is the Research Associate for Penumbra Theatre Company. She has researched and
produced work for Penumbra Theatre Company’s production of SPUNK and Let’s Talk
Theatre: The Harlem Renaissance. Lauren has been involved with Penumbra Theatre
Company’s Summer Institute Program; she served as an Intern for Penumbra Theatre
Company’s Pedagogies of Art for Social Change Internship in 2010, and led as an
Intern Facilitator in 2011. A graduate of the University of St. Thomas, she
studied social psychology and literature and holds an M.A. in American Studies
from Purdue University where she specialized in contemporary black literature.
SURAFEL WONDIMU ABEBE – August Wilson Fellow
a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota in the Theatre Historiography
Program minoring in Developmental Studies and Global Change and Cultural
Studies. He is also an ICGC-Mellon Scholar Fellow at the University of Minnesota
and University of Western Cape. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Surafel obtained
a degree in English Literature in 2006 and an MA in contemporary cultural
studies at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in 2010 at Addis Ababa University
(AAU). Together with his colleagues, he opened the Holy Land Art Academy and
co-founded a magazine called Infotainment that focused on art, politics, and
society. He has served as a lecturer and assistant dean in Humanities at AAU and
also ran a private media organization called Aesop Communication, along with a
twelve year old radio program on FM 97.1. He also served as a consultant of a
cultural forum headed by Selam Ethiopia whose head quarter was based in
Stockholm, Sweden. He collaborated with East African, Swedish and American
playwrights, actors and directors to stage international theatre festivals and
conversations on theatre arts.
High School Curriculum Consultants, 2011-2012
Kimberly White Colbert
has worked at St. Paul Central since 1994, where she started as a theater intern
for Jan Mandell and the Central Touring Theatre. She volunteered there until
receiving her MAT in English Language Arts and Speech Theater. Kimberly spent
one year in Minneapolis Public Schools as a theater specialist before returning
to St. Paul to join Central High's English Department. Kimberly has continued
her connection to the arts through active involvement with Brown University's
Arts Literacy Project, which imbeds performing and other art forms in literacy
instruction. Prior to working at Central, Kimberly spent five years in Japan and
Hawaii where she taught English and worked as a journalist for a local
newspaper. In addition to teaching, Kimberly is active in union activities,
currently serving on the boards of Education Minnesota and the National
Education Association (NEA).
Kaye Thompson Peters
has been teaching literature and writing at St. Paul Central High School since
January 1999, working with students in grades 9-12 and currently teaches senior
International Baccalaureate and freshman honors classes. Thompson Peters came to
education after fourteen years as a political and education reporter for
newspapers in Texas, Maryland, Washington DC and the Twin Cities. She also
volunteered as a child advocate with the Children's Defense Fund and worked as
an aide in the U.S. Senate.
is a Social Studies teacher, proud member of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers
and proud parent of a student at St Paul Open World Learning Community. With a
passion for teaching Civics and Government, she has taught grades 9 through 12
in a variety of social studies courses at Patrick Henry High School in
Minneapolis. Throughout her fourteen year career, Brionna has been involved in a
number of leadership opportunities in her school, union and district, motivated
by an undying belief in the power of public education, the purpose of the
teaching profession and the potential of young people learning to be actively
engaged, loving critics of our society and our world.