Akiba Abaka

Akiba Abaka is the audience development manager at ArtsEmerson. A distinguished director, dramatist, producer, actor and arts educator, Ms. Abaka has 20+ years of experience bringing theater to diverse communities throughout Greater Boston and is committed to utilizing theater for the purpose of community development and civic transformation. Directing credits include: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry; Leading From the Affair by Walter Mosley; 365 Days/365 Plays by Suzan-Lori Parks; In the Continuum by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter; Fences and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson; and The Emperor Jones by Eugene O’Neil. Service to the field includes Steering Committee, Berkshire Leadership Summit; Advisory Committee, Black Theatre Commons; Founder/Producing Artistic Director, Up You Mighty Race Company; Host Committee, TCG National Conference (Boston); Lead Theater Teaching Artist, Boch Center; Board Member, Boston Children’s Theatre; Community Member, Boston Children’s Chorus Innovation Team. Ms. Abaka is the recipient of the Boston NAACP Difference Maker Award; the Nathan Cummings Young Leaders of Color Fellowship from the Theatre Communications Group; and the Independent Reviewers of New England Award for Best Director.



Blognews, trends, insights

  • Audience Development as a Communal Experience
    The twenty-first century American theater is a communal experience where artists and audiences are bound in an existence which deems them equal parts subject, spectator and benefactor. Moving beyond traditions of privilege, subscriptions, access and pricing; the contemporary American Theater emerges as a necessary cultural commodity of storytelling. At ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage, we are fully aware of this paradigm shift and we welcome it, seeing it as the bedrock for our audience development goals.
  • Breaking Through the Bottleneck: Theatre Makers in the Black Community Congregate to Change Dynamics in Boston
    Akiba Abaka discusses her experience at the Model the Movement conference in Boston.