Members of the Afro-American Players, Inc. in front of the
at the University of Texas at Austin
Opened the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
to the performing arts as President Johnson unsealed the
Civil Rights Papers to the world.
Written and developed
by Glo Dean Baker,“I
Am Woman, I Am Black”
was performed to sensitize
participants on the problems and perspectives of
black women at the first International Year of The Woman
in Austin, TX.
During it’s tenure, the AAP, Inc.
has enjoyed great accomplishments. It opened the
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library to the performing arts as
President Johnson unsealed the Civil Rights papers to the
world. The Players have produced works in conjunction with
Nobel Prize Winner Wole Soyinka and Director Dapo
Adelupa. It has coordinated workshops and plays with
South African activists, Dennis Brutus and Peter Abrams and
has produced international broadcasts with
Radio Free Europe.
As a host to Theatro Compasino of California and the
Southern Blacks Arts Alliance, the AAP has provided a
wide-range of cultural experiences to the Texas arts
community. “I Am
Woman, I Am Black” was developed to sensitize
participants on the perspectives of black women at
the first International Year of The Woman
in Austin, Texas. To assist the Austin Independent
School District in their integration process.
Directors of the Company have
served as Artist Ambassadors in East, West and South Africa.
Project CREATE (Cultural Recognition Enhances Awareness,
Talent and Esteem)
Art centered project to assist the Austin School in their
integration process. Funded by HEW-Office of Education.
(Afro American Cultural
Entertainment, Enlightenment Program)
with the City of Austin to promote cross
cultural information and education.
|Project Masala anti gang program
conducted in four DISD schools using theater, dispute
mediation, and athletics.
|Winner's Camp reading, social skill and cultural
enrichment program, enhancing the quality of life for at
-risk youth of Dallas County.
GLO DEAN BAKER and FRED GARDNER are founding directors of The Afro-
American Players, Inc., which is the oldest existing Black theatre
company in the Southwest Region of the United States. Their Company
was founded while they were undergraduates at the University of
Texas at Austin in 1973.
They have performed all over the world and conducted many
award-winning cultural arts programs. The mission of the Players is
to provide professional theatre, to promote cross-cultural
provide an understanding of the history and
traditions of Africans in the Americas. Accolades include:
the Civil Rights Papers to the world at the LBJ Library with
President Lyndon Baines Johnson in Austin, Texas
Project CREATE to aid the desegregation process with the Austin
Neighborhood Touring Grants and Girls, Inc. Arts Program with
the National Endowment for the Arts
Rights of Passage Gang Program
with Hispanic and Afro-American youth with the Dept. of Housing and
Urban Development and Parks and Recreation
The Masala Project
for at-risk youth in four Dallas Public Schools
Gardner is an award winning visual artist and Glo Dean Baker is an
acclaimed writer, director and producer.
Currently, they produce the Children’s Mask Theatre Program in 120
schools and child care agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They
major productions in theatres and college campuses across the U.S.
They will be holding professional auditions for their U.S.
Tour of “Rap On America”.
they will open EMAC, an
arts consortium, which
house a theatre, art gallery, studios, restaurant and a poetry
The AAP has an elaborate history of involvement in youth programs.
For six years it operated Project CREATE in conjunction with the
HEW - Office of Education. Through the use of theatrical techniques,
the company developed positive self-concepts and self-esteem among
African-American and Hispanic students and encouraged cross-cultural
sensitivity. As a part
of the Gang Prevention, the Masala Project was integrated with DISD
Schools and the Gang Prevention Unit in the City of Dallas with 800
at-risk students. This program was funded by HUD.
Students worked with arts and humanities professionals.
Students wrote, performed and conducted theatrical productions.
Currently Fred and Glo presents the Children’s Mask
Theatre in 120 schools and child care facilities in the DFW Metroplex. The purpose
of the Mask Theatre is to promote understanding of various cultures
and people. Fred is
also an accomplished visual artist. In addition to these
activities, the couple
produces major plays on tour for educational, social, military and