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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.

Shifting the Leadership Paradigm
Essay

Shifting the Leadership Paradigm

the Berkshire Leadership Summit and Beyond

9 April 2018

Sara Brookner interviews the steering committee of the Berkshire Leadership Summit, which brought together a hundred present and future US and Canadian women leaders to discuss equity and advancement in the theatre field.

Audience Development as a Communal Experience
Essay

Audience Development as a Communal Experience

19 March 2014

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.

A logo that reads "Model The Movement" with an image of a tree behind it.
Breaking Through the Bottleneck
Essay

Breaking Through the Bottleneck

Theatre Makers in the Black Community Congregate to Change Dynamics in Boston

25 July 2012

Akiba Abaka discusses her experience at the Model the Movement conference in Boston.