"A Presenter of Theater Arts to the New York Community Since 1987."

Lorraine Hansberry’s To Be Young, Gifted and Black, which profiles the acclaimed author through her writings – speeches and letters, and scenes from the landmark play, A Raisin’ in the Sun, and other plays, opened on July 25, 1992, at the Bandshell in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, New York. Darryl L. Lacy directed and starred in the one-act version of the two-act play that was free and open to the public.

Lacy first starred in To Be Young, Gifted and Black in 1982, while attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Two years later after transferring to the State University College at Buffalo (SUCB), he directed it to satisfy a directing course requirement. This was his directorial debut. The sole performance was presented as part of the performing arts department’s annual one-act festival. The cast featured Rachel L. Ferguson; Michael Fruauff; Cheryl White; Daphne Mobley; Pamela Caecamise; Kathleen Hyman; Lenie Anderson; and Darren Frazier, who Lacy would direct again seven years later in Out-Reach Production’s In Memory of A Friend, in 1991.

In November 1984, Lacy achieved another first when he produced with the Langston Hughes Institute, Inc. in Buffalo, where it was performed. There were two changes for the one-night engagement: the second act of the play was added, and Lacy joined the cast to replace Anderson who was not able to continue with the production.

Prior to the 1984 production, Ferguson directed Lacy in Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets, in 1983, at SUCB. She was featured in DARRYL LACY (DL) PRODUCTIONS’ The Church Fight And Sisters; and Day of Absence; and has served as the company’s production stage manager. For the 1992, production of To Be Young, Gifted and Black, she reprised the roles she originally played in 1984.

There were two other artists that were precast for the 1992, production: Glenn Dandridge, who was featured in Nikki G: A Portrait of Nikki Giovanni in Her Own Words; and Kimberly Douthett, who Lacy directed in In Memory of A Friend and To Friends, both of which were written by Victor Seltzer. An open call audition was held to cast the remaining players and the following artists were selected: Dale Davison, Richard Demour, Kristi Hibschman, and Debra D. Holt.

The theater-in-the-park production was a collaborative effort. DL PRODUCTIONS obtained a special events permit from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to present the play in the park, and then coordinated its use with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, which operated it. DL PRODUCTIONS made arrangements with the New York Police Department to secure the space before and during the performances. The company barrowed set pieces for the shows from the National Black Theatre. And Nikki Williams, host of the radio show, Artbeat of Harlem, was on hand to introduce the opening-day performance.